Liberty County and Long County high schools had the tough challenge of trying to make the Elite 8 by battling top seeded teams on the road Tuesday. Both teams ended a short of their goals as the Tide were defeated by the fighting Irish of Dublin 73-55 and the Panthers lost a close one to Westover High School losing 62-58.
The Panthers played the Westover Patriots in Albany. In the last four years in a row the Patriots lost in the second round of state. The Panthers, on the other hand, were looking for a repeat of last season where they made the Elite 8 before being eliminated by Carver-Columbus.
In a tight game the Patriots took a 39-27 lead in the third quarter when a Patriot hit 3 trey shots in a row.
But fourth Panther junior Jordan McRae led a comeback rally, hitting a 3-pointer and a layup to put Liberty ahead by 1 point with 6 minutes of regulation left.
The Patriots came back with a 6-0 run and were able to hold on to earn a 4 point win and a trip to the Elite 8.
McRae netted 22 points in the game and Rion Brown chipped in 1.
The road to Dublin was paved with leprechaun tricks as the Dublin fighting Irish, the top seeded Region 3-AA team, took an early lead and later a 73-55 victory over Ludowici’s Blue Tide. The Irish had a halftime lead of 43-28 and scored 30 to the Tide’s 27 to stay ahead for the win.