A Game to Remember

This game wasn't as much about the combatants as it was about the atmosphere. It doesn't get much better than this.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The extent of the rivalry was clear when there wasn't a parking spot to be had within a ½-mile of the gym. If one needed further validation, it came when the doors were locked 15 minutes prior to the game because the 2,400-seat gym overflowed with fans.

It was Senario Hillman and his Wilkinson County (Ga.) team traveling down the road to face Martavius Adams at Milledgeville Baldwin.

The local scribe, standing a few feet down the baseline from Georgia head coach Dennis Felton and Bulldogs assistant Desmond Oliver, pumped his fist each time Baldwin managed a bucket. He then scolded Baldwin senior Obinna Hurt when he fell to the floor and took an eight-count before getting back up.

``Get up," he shouted in a southern twang that was difficult to make out. "Tough it out." Temple senior forward Nehemiah Ingram's little brother, known as "Goon" to everyone in the gym, picked up a technical within moments of entering the game late in the first quarter. He made his older brother, the original member of college basketball's Goon Squad, look like a choir boy from Kansas.

A few minutes later, a tussle ensued on the court between "Goon" and a few guys on Wilkinson County, and instead of separating the combatants, a female referee sprinted away from the action in fear.

Even the bathroom permeated of an illegal substance at halftime.

This is atmosphere, folks.

C'mon down to Milledgeville, Georgia.

After Wilkinson County had won a dozen straight against Baldwin, it was a much more plump Adams & Co. who ended the string a year ago.

Now Baldwin has begun its own streak of sorts after a 70-67 victory on Saturday night.

Hillman was passive against a 2-3 zone until late in the contest and still managed to score 23 points in an off-night. Although he knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in the game, he was just 8-of-20 for the game from the field – and didn't become assertive until it was too late.

Adams, who has dropped about 50 pounds and in the process, according to the local scribe, lost his "man-boobs", started off slow and only took four shots prior to the break. He finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds.

Hillman is a 6-foot (maybe 6-1) shooting guard who is trying to make the adjustment to playing the point, but he's not a natural floor leader – although he did have his moments passing the ball. One of the most athletic players in the nation, the first time anyone in the gym even got to see his leaping ability is when he drove down the lane for an emphatic dunk early in the fourth quarter.

``I didn't play very well," Hillman said after the game. "I could have done better. I didn't play hard in the first half."

Adams, after sitting nearly the entire third quarter due to foul trouble, took control of the game in the final eight minutes. He scored in the paint on several occasions and knocked down a nice short turnaround from the left baseline to give Baldwin the lead late in the game.

``He's a stud," Baldwin coach Lenwood May said of his star player.

``No question this is the biggest win I've ever had," Adams added.

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