McCullough, defense pace Pebblebrook past Tri-Cities

Dec. 4—MARIETTA — Jase McCullough scored 27 points, including six 3-pointers, to lead Pebblebrook to a 63-41 victory over Tri-Cities in the Tournament of Champions Showcase at Wheeler High School on Saturday.

The Falcons (4-3) jumped on the defending Class AAAAA state champions early, led by seven at the half behind McCullough's 18 first-half points, and then pulled away over the final two quarters. It was a performance coach George Washington was happy to see.

"We've been waiting on him to breakout this season," Washington said. "(Saturday) it came his way."

The timing couldn't have been much better either, as Jaiun Simon, the Falcons' 6-foot-7 forward who has signed with Dayton, was limited to only four points as the Bulldogs' defense collapsed around him, in some ways daring Pebblebrook to shoot from the outside.

The decision may have slowed Simon down, but it left open areas for McCullough, Prince Johnson, who had 14 points and Caleb Thomas who added nine.

While the Falcons took advantage on offense by making eight 3-pointers in the game, it was their defense that showed out in the second half. Pebblebrook took a seven-point halftime advantage and pushed it to 17 by the end of the third quarter. The defense allowed Tri-Cities to score only 16 points in the second half.

"We've been working on our defense, and we tried to give them some looks they hadn't seen before," Washington said.

Noricco Danner led the Bulldogs with 14 points.

The Falcons will head to McEachern on Tuesday for a matchup of former region rivals.