Bearcats edged 60-58, will host state playoff game

Published 3:29 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Bainbridge High School Bearcats dropped a controversial 60-58 decision to the Northside-Warner Robins High School Eagles on Friday, in the championship game of the Region 1-AAAA Basketball Tournament at Northside-Colunbus High School.

As the second place team in Region 1-AAAA, the Bearcats will host the Effingham County High School Mustangs, the third place team in Region 2-AAAA, in a first-round State Class AAAA Tournament game Satuday at 6 p.m.

The admission, which is set by the Georgia High School Association, will be $7 for everyone.

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The Bearcats will enter the game with a record of 25-4 and the Mustangs will come in with a record of 26-2.

On Tuesday morning, Bainbridge coach Rickey McCullough addressed the controversy at the end of the region championship game.

“With 15 seconds left in the game we had the ball and we got it in to our post man,” McCullough said. “When Northside-Warner Robins got the ball back they were on our end of the court and there were only three seconds left.

“Their man dribbled the  ball down to the foul line on their end of the court and picked up the ball as the final buzzer sounded. He got the shot away after that so it should not have counted, but the referees signaled that it was good and ran off the court.

“I thought the basket should have not counted and the game should have gone to overtime.”

Leading the way for the Bearcats against Northside-Warner Robins were Paul Chukes with 19 points and Dontavious Marshall with 11 points. Trea Kelly added nine and Rodney Glenn put in eight.

McCullough said that Effingham County, the Bearcats’ first-round playoff opponent, is a “very good team.”

“Effingham County has some solid height,” McCullough said. “Their 6-foot-7 sophomore center Jakeenan Grant is already being recruited by Division I schools. They also have T.J. Johnson, a 6-foot-4 forward.”