LOUISVILLE — Shooting 10-12 from the foul line in the final 80 seconds of the game, the Screven County Gamecocks hung on for a 59-52 win over the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets in the play-in game of the Region 3AA tournament Monday.
The win in the game played at Jefferson County High School enabled the Roosters to secure the No. 4 seed from Region 3A-AA and face Dodge County (No. 3 from Region 3B-AA) tonight at 8:30 p.m. in the opening round of the region tournament. All remaining tournament games are at Swainsboro High School.
SEB used a 15-4 run from the late third period into the early stages of the final period to take a 37-36 lead, its first since a 7-6 first quarter lead. Josh Suchosky with a trey and a deuce, Jamal Johnson with a three-point play and Drew Ware with a 3 keyed the comeback for the Jackets. The lead was short-lived as Gamecock freshman Jamell Lanier quickly buried his own 3 to give the Gamecocks back the lead.
They never trailed again.
Darius Wright, Jalen Mobley and Antone Bunbury followed Lanier’s 3 with baskets of their own to push SCHS to a 45-37 lead with barely half of the final stanza remaining. SEB closed the gap to four at 46-42 when Johnson hit for another three-point play with 3:19 left. The Gamecocks then milked more than a minute off the clock before Lanier hit another trey.
Twice the Jackets pulled within five at 49-44 and 51-46, but with under 2:00 to play they were forced to send the Gamecocks to the foul line. Between the 1:21 mark and the end of the game SCHS hit on 10-12 free throws to ice the game. Seniors Ryan Ford and Nigel Campfield were each five for six in the span.
Screven jumped to a 6-2 early lead before SEB came back to take their first lead of the game at 7-6 with 4:38 left in the first. The Gamecocks then scored the next 11 points to lead 17-7 after one. In that run four different Roosters tallied points as Campfield (5) along with Ford, Jalen Mobley, Bunbury each scoring two.
The Gamecocks held on to their ten point lead into the dressing room at 28-18 and quickly stretched it to 30-18, their largest lead of the game, in the third.
By the third quarter’s end, SEB closed the deficit to 34-32 when Suchosky hit the last points of the quarter.
For SCHS, which defeated SEB for the third time on the season, Campfield hit for 13, Mobley 13 and both Ford and Lanier nine.
Mobley also contributed nine rebounds.
Johnson led the Jackets with 12 while Suchosky had 10.