Patriots edge Bearcats for championship

Published 8:57 am Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Northside-Columbus High School Patriots edged the Bainbridge High School Bearcats 60-58 in overtime Saturday night to capture the Region 1-AAAAA basketball tournament championship, at Bainbridge High School.

The Hardaway High School Lady Golden Hawks defeated the Thomas County Central High School Lady Yellow Jackets 55-50 to win the Region 1-AAAAA girls championship.

All four Region 1-AAAAA finalists will advance in the state Class AAAAA Tournament.

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The Bearcats’ next game will be Wednesday, when they host Atlanta’s Creekside High School Knights, the third-place team from Region 4AAAAA, at 7 p.m. Admission will be $7.

Bainbridge advanced to Saturday’s region championship game with a 69-59 first-round win over Hardaway on Friday night.

Leading the way against Hardaway were Dontavius Marshall with a game-high 32 points, and Tyree Crump with 17.

Justin Crawford led the Golden Hawks with 25 points, and Cedric Jackson added 14.

Crump’s two free throws with just 0.5 seconds remaining in Saturday night’s championship game tied it up 66-66 and sent the game to overtime.

The overtime period remained scoreless until Tony Searr hit one of two free throws with 42.3 seconds remaining to put the Patriots ahead 57-56. Marcus Beverly followed with two free throws at the 26.3-second mark to increase the Patriots’ advantage to 59-56.

The Bearcats cut it to 59-58, when Crump hit a jumper with 17.7 seconds remaining. A free throw by Searr with 12.7 seconds left put the Patriots’ final point on the board.

Bainbridge’s Stephen Johnson attempted a potential three-point game winning shot with just 2.9 seconds remaining, but it was off the mark.

“Northside is a very athletic team and we played our hearts out against them,” Bainbridge coach Rickey McCullough said, following Saturday night’s championship game. “Freshman Tyree Crump showed a lot of poise sinking those two free throws at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.”