Northside’s, Warner Robins and Perry’s boys had this: Making it to the quarterfinals of the state basketball tournament is a feat in and of itself.
What they didn’t have, after Wednesday’s road matchups for all three, was an advance to the Final Four.
The Eagles fell to Brunswick 64-54. The Demons ran into one of those Buford teams – like the Demonettes the day before – and came up well short, 94-72, and the Panthers lost to Sandy Creek 80-60. Their season came to a close at 22-9. Sandy Creek improved to 23-7 and, a No. 2 seed, will be facing its first No. 1 seed March 4 when it takes on St. Pius. (To date it has faced a No. 4 and two No. 3s.)
Northside has as much a shot as anyone against the Pirates (22-8). Led by Marquaevious Williams’ 5 and Jaylan Sandifer’s 4 in the first quarter, they only trailed 18-12. Just as important was keeping it even in the second. Both scored 14 during that span, leaving the Eagles still on down by six, 32-26.
But they were never able to gain ground lost in the opening minutes. They were edged out 17-16 in the third and 15-12 in the fourth.
Sandifer went on to finish with 16 to lead the club. Trayvon Willis finished with 13 – he got started with a trey in the second and then scored 4 in the third and 6 in the fourth. Williams came away with 12 while Tobias Oliver had 9.
Dereck Lampkin led the host with 19. Teammate Daquan Humphreys had 16 and Kymani Dunham 11. The Eagles finished their year 15-15.
The Region 1-AAAAA champion Demons … well, got painted in a corner pretty quick against the Wolves (27-2). They were down 21-9 after one and 56-23 at the half.
They did swing the difference by 10 points in the third with a 23-13 advantage, but still that still left them trailing 69-46.
Warner Robins also outscored its host in the fourth, but that was only by three, 26-23. Most of the credit for the offense in the final frame went to Nelson Phillips. He hit four 3-pointers during that span and finished with 24. The Wolves on the other hand did most of their damage at that point from the free-throw line. They were 6-7 in the third and 11-17 in the fourth.
Jaydon Norman also had 14 for the Demons and Jacolbey Owens 9.
Marcus Watson finished with 24 for Buford, Tobi Obasanya 23 and David Viti 18.
Warner Robins finished its year 26-4.