Bearcat Hoops climb rankings as they prepare for Senior Night

Published 9:39 am Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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As the Bainbridge Bearcats basketball team moves into the last week of regular season play, the Bearcats are gaining national notice and moving up the rankings as they continue their season of dominance. With their most recent win against Hardaway, the Bearcats improved to a 7-0 region record and a 22-1 overall record. 

The Bearcats are currently ranked 22 overall in the MaxPreps state of Georgia rankings and are also ranked third overall in the MaxPreps All-Tallahassee rankings. The Bearcats carry an impressive 19 game win streak into the last week of the regular season, capping it off with senior night against Cairo on Friday, February 10. 

In their most recent win against Hardaway, the Bearcats were clicking on all-cylinders as they cruised to a 50-33 victory. Like head coach Kelvin Cochran has emphasized all season long, every player contributed in the Bearcats 17 point victory. In the scoring department, eight total players filled the stat sheet for the Bearcats. 

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Vontrelle Ervin led the Bearcats with nine points, while AJ Grant and Gabriel Smart pitched in eight a piece, Dontavious Broadnax finished the game with six points, KJ Cochran and Keith Gaines both combined for five points, Mikavaus Grant notched four points, Amarion Ford with three and KJ Bryant capped it off with two of his own.  

Defensively, the Bearcats continued to lay the foundation and play aggressive, fast and disciplined as they held the Hawks to just 33 points. Earlier in the season, Coach Cochran talked about the importance of playing defense and it not only showed in their win against Hardaway, but has been a large factor into their 19 game winning streak. 

“Defense is something we take pride in and work on every single day,” said Cochran. “Offensively you’re going to have games that are up and down so it’s really important to be consistent on defense. Our guys take pride in locking teams up which makes me smile as a coach. You have to be able to play defense to play for us.”

One motivating factor for this year’s Bearcats is an opportunity to win a Region Championship. This year Bainbridge High School has seen a number of Region Championships including swimming, football, cross country, one act, and the Bearcats basketball team is motivated to add to the trophy case. 

The motivation, comradery, and work-ethic of this year’s Bearcats senior class has been another factor towards this season’s success. The seniors have played in big games before and are craving the opportunity to take home a Region Championship and make a run at a state title. 

“This core group has five seniors, a few juniors, and just have been with each other for a long time,” said Cochran. “They’re friends and they play for each other. Their willingness to make sacrifices for each other, they push each other and they just have fun. There’s good vibes all around this team.”

The Bearcats will travel to Early County on Tuesday before returning home on Friday Feb. 10 for Senior Night against rival Cairo where the Bearcats will look to finish with a historic 24-1 regular season record.