Cats dominate Demons, edge Patriots

Published 11:51 am Friday, February 17, 2012

The Bainbridge High School varsity boys basketball team has nailed down at least one home game in the state basketball tournament.

The Bearcats did it with a dominating 67-44 victory over the Warner Robins Demons Tuesday in the Region 1AAAA Tournament and a thrilling Thursday 57-56 victory over the Northside Columbus Patriots on a put-back at the buzzer by Paul Chukes.

The Bearcats were to play the Northside-Warner Robins Eagles Friday night in the Region 1AAAA championship game, which is being held at Northside-Columbus’ home gym.

The top two region 1AAAA teams will host first round games in the state tournament, with the No. 1 seed potentially hosting two games.

The Bearcats will host a first round state tournament game next Saturday, with time and opponent to be determined later.

“The game with Northside Columbus was close all the way and both teams battled hard,” Bearcats head coach Rickey McCullough said Friday morning. “We were up by eight, 32-24, at halftime.”

In the win over the Patriots, Bearcats were led by guard Dontavious Marshall with 18 points, Chukes put in 14 and Dillen Thomas scored 11.

The Bearcats dominated Tuesday’s win over Warner Robins were ahead 14-10 at the end of the first quarter, and 44-27 at halftime.

“Our starters got us a big lead and that gave us a chance to play all of our players,” Coach McCullough said. “Everybody really played hard and gave a great effort.

Against the Demons, the Bearcats were led by Chukes with 18 points and Rodney Glenn with 17 points.

Rounding out the Bearcats scoring column Tuesday were Marshall with nine, Trea Kelly with eight, Tim Shaw with six, Justin Baker with four, Dillen Thomas and Stephen Johnson with two apiece and Deion Thomas with one.

With the wins, the Bearcats have now won 17 straight games. Last season, they had a 24-game winning streak before losing in the second round of the state tournament. In 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, the Bearcats had winning streaks of 18 games and 20 games before eventually losing in the Final Four in Atlanta both years.