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Boys basketball: Mason leads the way in victory over Calhoun

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Several things continue to rise for the Armuchee boys — Jonathan Mason’s scoring average, the Indians’ win total, and most important, their confidence.

The surging Indians posted their fifth win in the past six games Friday night, and this one might have been the most impressive yet.

With Mason pouring in 28 points, including a shot from behind half court at the third-quarter buzzer, the Indians downed Calhoun, 58-54, on Senior Night at Armuchee.

The victory was Armuchee’s fourth in a row, and it sends Armuchee (8-15, 5-9) into next week’s Region 7-AA tournament on a high note — and brimming with momentum.

“We’ve begun to play with a little more poise,” said Armuchee coach Ray Tucker. “We played a pretty solid game against the region’s best team and then at home we’ve had some success here at the end of the season and I think that’s given us confidence.”

Armuchee will be the No. 7 seed at the tournament and will open against Pepperell on Tuesday.

Calhoun will be the tourney’s No. 1 seed after finishing 11-3 in region play. The Jackets (15-5 overall) will receive a double-bye in the tournament and are assured of a berth at state.

In Friday’s game, Mason made five 3-pointers for the Indians, who trailed 23-21 at the half but outscored Calhoun 23-11 in the third quarter to flip the game around and build a 44-34 lead. The Indians then held off the Jackets in the final eight minutes.

“We made some free throws that we needed to make down at the end and I think that was the big (difference),” said Tucker.

Jacob Booke finished with 11 points for the Indians.

“This win is going to let us continue our confidence and know that we can win,” said Tucker.

“Our region is going to be really a dog fight next week.

“The teams are very similar and it’s just going to be some really tough fought games all next week.”

Keyth Fightmaster finished with 12 points and Jireh Wilson had 11 for the Jackets.

Armuchee opened region play with eight straight losses, but turned the season around with a win over Murray County on Jan. 22.

They lost the following game to Dade County, but have since reeled off consecutive wins over Chattooga, Pepp-erell, Coosa and Calhoun.

Next week, the Indians will look to earn the first berth in the state tournament in the history of the boys’ program.