After having to beat Screven County in a play-in game Monday, the Harlem Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals of the Region 3-AA Boys Basketball Tournament at Laney High School Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs beat East Laurens handily, 69-44, and qualified for the 2012-2013 Georgia High School Association Class AA Boys State Basketball Tournament. The trip to the state tournament is the first for the Bulldogs since 2002.
"That's monumental right there," said Bulldogs head coach Kim Chambers. "We played one of the best games we played all year. We played great defense, we boxed out and we controlled the boards."
Chambers thought the game might come down to the wire as the Bulldogs (14-11, 4-4) lost to East Laurens 65-61 on Jan. 19. The Bulldogs raced out to a 32-16 halftime lead, holding East Laurens to four second quarter points and cruised from there.
"I told them the first four minutes of the second half would be key and they did a good job of maintaining," Chambers said
Standout guard Reggie Reid put up 30 points and had plenty of help as Dylan Farmer had 11 points, Torien Beard added 10 points and Cameron Brown had seven.
Next up is No. 1 seed Westside who the Bulldogs will face Friday night at 8:30 p.m.
The Evans Knights continued its unbeaten path through Region 2-AAAAA Wednesday afternoon.
The Knights’ 60-57 win over the Houston County Bears in the opening round of the Region 2-AAAAA Boys Basketball Tournament at Jones County gave the Knights (22-4, 10-0 region) an automatic berth in the 2012-2013 GHSA Class AAAAA Boys State Basketball Tournament.
The Knights led 58-52 with 21 seconds to play, but the Bears cut the lead to 59-57 with five seconds to play. Damian Foreman hit one of two free throws and Buchanan blocked a potential tying 3-pointer to seal the win.
“We had a little meltdown at the last minute but we hung on,” said Evans’ head coach Kevin Kenny. “If Buchanan hadn’t got that block, we could well have gone into overtime.”
Foreman led the Knights with 19 points, K’Lon Lovett had 14 and Buchanan had nine.
Kenny expects low-scoring the rest of the night as well with the added pressure of teams attempting to make the state tournament.
“Points are hard to come by in this do-or-die round,” he said.
The Knights entered streaking having won 16 of its last 17 games including seven in a row. They will face Northside, Warner Robins on Friday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. A win would put them into Saturday’s region championship game and guarantee them a state first round home game on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
Northside advanced as they ended Greenbrier's season with the 77-55 win. The Wolfpack finished the season 5-19, 3-7.
The Grovetown Warriors also reached the end of the road in the third contest of the Region2-AAAAA tournament, losing 65-43 to Jones County. The Warriors finished the year 8-18, 3-7.
In the final game of the first round, Lakeside's comeback attempt fell just short as the Panthers lost to Warner Robins, 61-57. The Panthers finished the year at 8-16, 3-7.