VALDOSTA — Brunswick boys 48, Valdosta 44
Brunswick’s boys outscored Valdosta 23-11 in the final 10 minutes, and rallied to defeat the Wildcats 48-44 in the semifinals of the Region 1 boys tournament.
Brunswick will face Tift County in the region championship game today at 8:30 p.m. at the VHS gym. Tift defeated Coffee 79-50 in Thursday’s other semifinal. Valdosta will play Coffee in the consolation game at 5:30 p.m.
With two minutes left in the third quarter, Valdosta held an eight-point lead, 33-25. But then the tide turned in Brunswick’s
Brunswick’s Marquice Jones made a layup, then Tracey Walker blocked a shot at the other end of the floor. Ty Jackson’s three-point play cut Valdosta’s lead to 33-30 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the first minute of the final period, Brunswick’s Rodriguez Hamilton tipped in a missed shot, then after a steal, Jackson’s layup gave the Pirates a 34-33 lead. Clarence Smith gave Valdosta the lead back with a jumper. Jones tied the score with a free throw, then Smith put the Wildcats ahead again (38-35) with three free throws.
The teams went back and forth for the next 90 seconds. Smith’s three-pointer with 3:03 left to play gave Valdosta a 43-39 lead.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they would only score one more point after that.
A three-point play by Brunswick’s Rogers Davis cut Valdosta’s lead to one, 43-42. Then after two missed free throws by Valdosta’s Kevin Ferrell and an offensive foul call on Colin Kirkpatrick that drew boos from the home crowd, Jackson put Brunswick back on top with two free throws, making it 44-43. Kirkpatrick missed a three-pointer and Smith had a 10-foot jumper rim out.
Brunswick’s Jaamond Kelly and Valdosta’s Rashad Lewis traded free throws, then a foul shot by Davis gave the Pirates a 46-44 lead with 36.9 seconds left on the clock. Valdosta got the ball back, but Lewis was called for traveling. The Wildcats fouled Jackson, who put the game away with two free throws with 19.4 seconds remaining.
Jackson led the Pirates with 16 points. Jones added 10.
Brunswick led 10-8 after the first quarter, but Valdosta dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Pirates 16-7.
The Wildcats took the lead with an 8-0 run early in the second quarter. Kirkpatrick and Tobias Graham both made three-pointers and Lewis had a layup. Valdosta had another 8-0 run later in the period — thanks to three-pointers by Smith and Kirkpatrick and two Jerahn Thomas free throws — and headed to the locker room with a 24-15 halftime lead.
The Wildcats led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter, and were ahead by eight when the Pirates started their rally.
Smith was the only Wildcat in double figures, scoring 16 points.