Rivals battle it out for region titles in wild night of hoops in Middle Georgia
The Middle Georgia area is still trying to catch its collective breath after a night of non-stop hoops action. From unbelievable upsets to buzzer beating shots, Friday night offered a little bit of each and everything in between. Here some of the scores and highlights from around the area.
Central 84 vs Westside 79
In arguably the game of the year, Central found a way in triple overtime to pull out a win over rival Westside. The two teams were evenly matched throughout the night.
For much of the first half, the teams battled back and forth with no one gaining an edge. Central was 29-26 with less than two seconds remaining in the half. Westside’s Jonta Balkcom launched a half court shot to beat the buzzer and send the teams into halftime all square. The play was foreshadowing for how all the rest of the game would go.
The third quarter saw Central take control early on getting up to a nine point advantage only to see Westside cut it to three heading into the fourth quarter. Westside would grab the lead early in the final frame of regulation. From there the teams swapped the lead out repeatedly.
Kowacie Reeves Jr. went 1-of-2 from the line to give Westside a 58-56 lead with under a minute to play. The Chargers would answer to tie the game and forced a steal. The team missed a long buzzer beater to send the game into the first overtime.
Late in the overtime period, Reeves would once again go 1-of-2 from the free throw line to put Westside up by three. Central’s Antonio Card pulled up from distance and drained a 3-pointer to send the game into the third overtime.
Card finished with 32 points to pace the Chargers – including the game sealing three pointer and free throws in the final overtime period. Quay Primas added 20 points and 25 rebounds.
Westside’s Desmond Foston finished with a game high 34-point performance.
Both teams will now look to make deep runs in the state playoffs.
Central’s head coach Andre Taylor said after the game that the win will help build some momentum for the team heading into the playoffs.
“To finish out and win a region championship that is something big,” he said. “Especially going against a team the caliber that Westside is.”
This is the fourth consecutive year that the teams have met in the region title game. Taylor says that it showcases the talent in the Macon area.
“We are just trying to bring attention to the Middle Georgia area, to Macon,” he said. “(We) let them know that we play basketball in Macon. We’ve got some great talent here and we are going to compete with whoever is put before us.”
Kendrick 54 vs Central 43
Kendrick dominated for much of the game including heading into the half up 32-10. It looked as though they would cruise to victory. Then with less than three minutes to play, Central cut the lead back down to single digits.
Unfortunately, that was as close as they would get as Kendrick managed to hang on to win the region title.
Upson-Lee 72 vs Howard 31
The Upson-Lee Knights have claimed their fourth straight region title with another dominating performance. The Howard Huskies kept this one relatively close for the first half.
The Knights played lock down defense in the second half giving up only three points.
Zyrice Scott paced the team with 22 points while Travon Walker chipped in 15 points with 18 rebounds. The Knights could be poised for another state championship run.
Houston County 61 vs Coffee County 57
Don Hudson and this Houston County Bears team continues to reach new heights every time they take the court. A year ago they sat 5-20, now they are region champions.
The Bears knocked off the number one team in the entire state in Coffee County and seem poised to make a run in the playoffs.
The job Hudson has done to turn this team around cannot he talked about enough. It is one of the best in the Middle Georgia history for basketball.
Other scores from around Middle Georgia.
Perry 50 vs Upson-Lee 42
Washington County 38 vs Southwest 34
Peach County 55 vs Rutland 40
Harris County 52 vs Warner Robins 50
Northeast 55 vs Washington County
53 Southwest 64 vs Dublin 54
Warner Robins 66 vs Bainbridge 53
Veterans 52 vs Harris County 34