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LOCAL BRIEFS: Thompson leads Florida Gulf Coast to huge upset

Florida Gulf Coast's Bernard Thompson, a Rockdale grad, celebrates the Eagles win over the Georgetown Hoyas in their second round NCAA tournament game in Philadelphia on March 22, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

Florida Gulf Coast's Bernard Thompson, a Rockdale grad, celebrates the Eagles win over the Georgetown Hoyas in their second round NCAA tournament game in Philadelphia on March 22, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

PHILADELPHIA — Playing in the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament game, Bernard Thompson and his Florida Gulf Coast teammates acted like seasoned veterans, and in the process made a ton of history.

Thompson, a Rockdale graduate, scored 23 points and the No. 15 seed Eagles upset second-seeded Georgetown 78-68 in the second round of the South Regional on Friday.

Florida Gulf Coast (25-10), which won the Atlantic Sun Conference championship, became the seventh No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 in the history of the tournament. It will play seventh-seeded San Diego State in today’s third round at 7:10 p.m.

Thompson, a sophomore guard, shot 5 of 12 from the field and made 10 of 16 free throws to help eliminate the Hoyas, who came into the game 25-6.

Sherwood Brown led all scorers with 24 points and Markel Starks led Georgetown with 23 points.

Rams sweep Lovejoy in region tennis match

COVINGTON — The Newton Rams improved their seeding with a 5-0 sweep over Lovejoy’s tennis team on Thursday.

At No. 1 singles, Darrin Hollis fell behind early 3-2 but managed to come back for an 8-5 victory. The remainder of the Newton boys team cruised to victory as Courtney Manning won 8-2 at No. 2 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Craig Thomas and Delique Allen recorded its first shutout of the season 8-0. At No. 3 singles, playing in his first varsity match, Tamar Thomas defeated his opponent 8-2. Also winning at No. 2 doubles was the team of Josue Diaz and Anthony Bradley by an 8-3 score.

In the girls matches, Marie Diaz went up 7-0 before losing a game at No. 1 singles. Diaz set the tone of the match and held on for an 8-1 win. At No. 2 singles, Bri Weaver defeated her opponent 8-2 and Irma Soriano won 8-2 at the No. 3 spot. At No. 2 doubles, Ify Egbulem and Ashley Jean-Baptiste recorded their first 8-0 victory as a team. The only closely contested match was at No. 1 doubles. Newton’s Ja’Lynne Cole and Sierra Fleming were tied 7-7 at deuce before winning six straight points to claim the match.

“I am really proud of the way our teams rebounded after losing region matches the past two days. I think we needed a good confidence boost,” Newton coach Michael Bryan said. “I think our boys played extremely well, given the fact that two of our guys were out today. Tamar Thomas stepped in at singles and played the best he’s played all season.”