Eufaula shoots down Chilton

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Eufaula's Travis Thomas may be a forward, but in the first round of the Southeast Regional Tournament, he did not act like one.

Thomas scored 18 of Eufaula's 32 first-half points -- including five-of-eight from three-point range -- as Eufaula defeated Chilton County 72-43.

Eufaula will now play Wilcox Central Friday at 10:45 a.m. for the right to go to the state Final Four in Birmingham.

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Thomas was deadly from behind the three-point line, shooting 67 percent for the game. He picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter and left with 23 points.

Lucious Robinson picked up the slack in Thomas' absence. He drove to the basket on back-to-back possessions to pick up the 'old-fashioned' three pointer as Eufaula expanded the lead to double figures. Robinson scored 17 points, eight of which came after Thomas left the game.

Even with Thomas on the bench, Eufaula managed to increase its lead in the fourth quarter. Eufaula began the quarter on a 16-2 run that pushed the lead to 65-40. Chilton County finally ended the fourth-quarter drought on a three-point shot by Jeremy Springer with 1:32 left in the game. Chilton County scored only five points in the final period.

"We had to run so much on defense to cover their guys we didn't have any energy on the offensive end," Chilton County coach Donnie Head said.

Eufaula coach Michael Smith said his team's fourth-quarter defense was tenacious.

"They weren't shooting well, but we did a good job on the boards," Smith said. "We kept them off the offensive glass and didn't give them any easy baskets. The result was a lot of fast break opportunities for us."

Thomas Jones was the only Chilton County player in double figures. He scored 11.

Jones shot four-of-eight from the field, much better than the rest of the team. Chilton County shot only 31 percent for the game and hit only three of its 15 three-point attempts.