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Majic make Warriors disappear, 119-104

June 28, 2009 - World Basketball Association (WBA) - Cartersville Warriors News Release

The Cartersville Warriors (8-4, 6-4 World Basketball Association) lost their regular-season finale Sunday afternoon at J.H. Morgan Gymnasium, dropping a 119-104 decision to the Buford Majic.

The Warriors, who had a three-game winning streak snapped with the loss, led briefly, 14-13, midway through the first period before Buford went on a late run to take a 31-24 lead after the opening 10 minutes.

The Majic shot the ball well in the first period, going 12-for-18 (66.7 percent) from the field, and it was a trend they continued all game long. Buford finished the game 42-for-67 (62.7 percent) on its field goals, including burying 12 of its 24 3-point shots, a success rate of 50 percent.

In the second quarter, Cartersville stayed within 56-48 with 2:26 to go before halftime following a three-point play by Kenny Saunders, but again the Majic used a late-quarter outburst to retake control. Buford scored 11 of the half's final 15 points to take a 67-52 advantage into the locker room.

Adrian Penland led Buford with 18 first-half points and B.J. Puckett added 14, while Saunders (13 points) and Jermaine Spivey (12) tried to keep the Warriors in the game.

Buford stretched its lead to as many as 19 points, at 86-65, in the third quarter before taking a 90-73 lead into the final 10-minute period. Cartersville chipped away at the Majic's lead in the fourth quarter, getting as close as 99-91 on a Spivey layup with 5:35 to go, but Buford never let the Warriors get any closer.

"We showed good character coming back the way we did," said Cartersville head coach Cory Baldwin. "However, a lot of the things we did when we lost three straight games in the middle of the season reared their ugly heads again today. Our decision making late in the game left a lot to be desired and I felt like we didn't focus on the things we needed to be focused on."

Puckett led Buford with a game-high 29 points. Penland pitched in 25, Marcus Brown finished with 20, Michael Sloan had 19 and Adrian Boarders scored 14 for the Majic, who finished the regular season 9-1 and enter the WBA playoffs as the league's No. 1 seed.

Bobby Brown paced Cartersville with 18 points before he was ejected with 1:47 remaining in the game. Spivey had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists, Saunders finished with 17, five rebounds and three assists, Darnell Cox scored 15 before being ejected with 7:25 left in the fourth quarter, Andrew Jones had 13, six rebounds and five assists and Chucky Frierson netted 11 and had five rebounds.

Cartersville and Buford square off again Thursday in the semifinals of the WBA playoffs at Bogan in Buford. Game time is set for 8 p.m. The other semifinal pits the defending WBA champion Decatur Court Kings against the Tupelo Rock-N-Rollers at 6 p.m. The two winners will play for the WBA championship Friday at 7:30 p.m.

"Hopefully, we'll come ready to play and be able to bounce back from this loss," said Baldwin. "We should be motivated, not only because we lost today, but because if we lose Thursday, it'll be our final game of the year."

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