Bearcats bow out of state tournament

Published 10:54 am Friday, February 22, 2013

The Bainbridge High School Bearcats dropped a 71-65 overtime game to Fairburn’s Creekside High School Seminoles at BHS on Wednesday night, eliminating the Bearcats from the State Class AAAAA tournament and ending their season.

The Bearcats finished the season with a record of 18-10 and as second place in Region 1-AAAAA. Creekside was the third-place team from Region 4-AAAAA.

With the Bearcats trailing 56-54 and just 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Stephen Johnson stepped to the line and sank two free throws to tie the game 56-56 and send it to overtime.

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“Stephen Johnson, who scored 16 points, kept us in the game down the stretch,” Bainbridge coach Rickey McCullough said, after the game. “We were a little off on our three-point shooting tonight, but I couldn’t be prouder of our team.

“They really played hard and got after it tonight, just as they have all season.”

Naeqon Newman gave the Seminoles a brief 57-56 lead when he hit one of two free throws at the 3:44 mark of overtime. The Bearcats went up 58-57 when Tyree Crump hit a layup off the left glass with 2:29 remaining.

The Seminoles scored 14 of the final 21 points to nail down the victory.

The Bearcats started strong in regulation. A Johnson layup with 7:39 left in the second quarter gave the Bearcats a 13-4 lead.

The Seminoles countered with nine unanswered points to pull even 13-13. Tim Shaw hit a layup off the right glass to break the tie and give the Bearcats a 15-13 halftime lead. The score was tied 37-37 after three quarters.

Johnson led the Bearcats scoring attack Wednesday, with 16 points. Also in double figures were Dontavius Marshall with 12, Justin Baker with 11 and Shaw with 10.

Crump scored nine points, Jamez Harris added five and B.J. Cheatem scored three.

Creekside’s Newman took game-scoring honors with 19 points. Also in double figures for the Seminoles were Chris Sanders McCollum with 16, Santerra Fuller with 12 and Ahjanni Aska with 11.