First Presbyterian Christian Academy’s Highlander boys basketball team has cleared the first hurdle enroute to their fourth state title. The Highlander boys defeated Valwood 73-38 in the first round of the state playoffs Thursday afternoon in Dawson.
According to head coach Ernie Walthour Herbert Roberts paced the team, scoring 16 points. Highlanders Chris Guilfo and Josiah Alleyne also hit double figures scoring 14 and 10 respectively.
“DJ Bratcher had a great defensive performance, as did Ahman Muhammad,” Walthour said. “Damian Osborne had six blocks in the game and we had some great leadership from Domonique Kirkley.”
Walthour said the coaching staff really prepared the squad and was working hard to get the boys ready for round two. The boys were scheduled to play at 2:30 p.m. yesterday against Gatewood at Middle Georgia College.
“A win would place us in the final four,” Walthour said.
Region tournament roundup
A shot at the buzzer and a fight to the finish advanced the Long County Blue Tide boys and the Bradwell Lady Tigers into the Region finals. Both squads were scheduled to play for the championship trophies last night.
The Long boys moved into the Region 2-AA finals after winning a nail biter Friday, defeating Appling County 60-58 at Brewton-Parker College.
According to Long athletic director Karen Swindell, the Blue Tide boys hit a shot at the buzzer to clinch the win and advance to the finals against Vidalia High School. Vidalia advanced into the championship game by defeating Toombs County 94-57 in the other semi-final game.
Vidalia entered the region tournament as the number one seed, while Long County entered number two. The Indians finished their season with a 22-3 record and currently are ranked as the No. 4 Class AA in the state, according to the ga.prepcountry.com coaches poll.
Long County finished their regular season 17-7. When the two teams met during the regular season, Vidalia won the first game 76-65 and Long County won the rematch 70-68.
In Savannah, a familiar arena was being set up as the Lady Beach High Bulldogs edged out Windsor Forest 56-50 in Friday’s semi-finals. The Bradwell girls won a tough battle against Camden County, winning 43-39. This set up a Region 3-AAAAA championship game between BI and Beach for the fifth year in a row.
Lady Tiger Shaquoia Crockett paced the girls in Friday’s semi-final, scoring 11 points. The BI girls led by one point at the half, but were able to build a small cushion and were up 31-29 going into the final quarter. Camden County made a seven-point run, but the Lady Tigers made some critical shots at the line to clinch the win.
The Lady Bulldogs have dominated the region this year, going 19-0 in region play and earning a 25-1 overall mark. The Lady Tigers are 18-9 overall and 15-5 in the region. The BI girls are 2-2 against Beach in the Region title games. The Lady Tigers won the region titles in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
After beating Groves 89-62 in the quarter finals, the Tiger boys were defeated by Johnson 89-63 in Friday’s semifinal game. The victory kept the Atom Smashers undefeated in region play (19-0) and advances Johnson to the finals against Savannah High.
Tigers Miguel Pineda and Dazjon Tinae, who have led the BI boys in scoring throughout the tournament, shined again Friday night. Pineda hit 23 points and Tinae sank 17.
The Tiger boys did face Jenkins for the third place game yesterday evening. Both BI squads clinched spots in the state playoffs.
The Courier will bring you the results of the region tournament and a breakdown of the state playoffs Wednesday.