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PREP BASKETBALL: Jonesboro gets win of the “century” (mark) over Pike County

M.J. Walker and the top-ranked Jonesboro Cardinals defeated Pike County by over 100 points Saturday night. (File)

M.J. Walker and the top-ranked Jonesboro Cardinals defeated Pike County by over 100 points Saturday night. (File)

ZEBULON, Ga. — Perhaps there’s been some doubt as to whether or not this season’s version of Jonesboro boys basketball could do what the last two squads did in winning a state championship.

Without names like Tracy Hector, Austin Donaldson and Deantre Mack dotting the roster, some may have felt legit in asking the question, “Is Jonesboro still the best Class AAAA basketball team in Georgia?”

If you ask Pike County that question after Saturday night’s home game against the state’s top-ranked team, you might get a simple, one word answer from the boys from Zebulon.

Scoreboard.

The Cardinals pasted Pike with a beatdown of epic proportions. Proper adjectives to describe it seem to cheat the impact, so how about taking a peak at the final score:

That’s 115-14, Jonesboro. You knew it was going to be ugly when Jonesboro took a 74-12 lead into halftime. But one has to wonder if anyone figured that Pike would get outscored 51-2 in the second half by Jonesboro’s bench?

That’s a level of dominance rarely seen, even in the high school ranks. Granted, Pike County (1-17) isn’t exactly among the state’s elite hoops programs.

The loss marks 15 straight L’s for the Pirates — their last win was a 49-47 overtime triumph over a Hampton program just in its second season of competition. And most of the losses haven’t been close. The average margin of defeat for Pike has been by 31.8 points. That includes losses of 102-34 to Eastside and 80-19 to Jonesboro back on January 15.

Pump your brakes on trying to take Jonesboro to task for running up the score and being classless to a clearly overmatched (that’s the understatement of the year) team. The entire team played Saturday night. All of them. Unless you start bringing folks out of the stands, there’s nothing you can do to stop a team from scoring at will outside of, well, the opposing team stopping them.

Pike wasn’t much better last season after a 2-24 finish that saw it drop 84-21 and 85-21 decisions to a Cardinals squad that was on their way to defending their state crown.

If anything, the loss might have shown that Jonesboro — despite having to count on a major youth initiative to support one of the nation’s best players in junior M.J. Walker — is still just as formidable for a state championship as any other team in Georgia.

As far as anyone can tell so far, the win is the largest margin of victory in Jonesboro school history — obviously.

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