Photo: David McGregor Berkmar's Bradley Holmes fights for a loose ball with Khalil Abdullah in the closing seconds of the Patriots victory over the Broncos in the semifinals of the 8-AAAAAA Region Tournament on Wednesday night at South Gwinnett.
SNELLVILLE -- Berkmar boys' basketball team was going toe-to-toe with Brookwood in the quarterfinals of the Region 8-AAAAAA tournament and needed something to spark a second-half run.
That came from Tim Rowe as the junior scored all 13 of his points in the second half to lead Berkmar to a thrilling 43-42 win over Brookwood.
Berkmar (15-11) moves into the semifinals and also earns a berth in the state tournament with the victory.
"We finally were able to get the ball inside to Tim (Rowe)," said Berkmar head coach Greg Phillips. "He was frustrated but kept his cool and came alive in the second half. That opened some other things up and got our offense going, especially in that third quarter."
Brookwood took the lead early on and jumped ahead 14-8 on Deion Dedeaux's basket to begin the second quarter.
But Berkmar pecked away and the Patriots went ahead 16-14 with eight straight points before eventually taking a 20-19 lead into the locker rooms at the half.
Nursing the slim one-point lead, Berkmar turned to Rowe and he delivered with the first six points of the third quarter for the Patriots.
Along with Berkmar's lone 3-pointer of the night from Malcolm Hannah, Berkmar took a 29-21 lead with 5:35 to go in the third.
Berkmar built its biggest lead of the night at 35-26 before Brookwood made a push and cut the Patriots' lead to 37-33 on a 3-pointer by Dedeaux heading to the fourth quarter.
Brookwood kept the momentum in the final period and finally regained the lead at 42-40 on a 3-pointer from Kendall Joseph with 2:40 to go.
But Rowe tied it at 42-all on a layup and C.J. Foster hit what proved to be the game-winning free throw with 32 seconds left.
Brookwood (16-10) had one last chance, but Dedeaux's runner down the lane wouldn't fall with eight seconds left and Rowe secured his seventh rebound of the night with 1.5 seconds remaining.
Rowe did go to the line and miss the front end of a 1-and-1, but Brookwood's desperation heave fell short at the buzzer.
"Give Brookwood a lot of credit," said Phillips. "They battled us all night and had a chance to win it. But we came up with the stop when we needed it."
Foster finished with 12 points to go along with Rowe's 13 points for Berkmar.
"I needed to get the ball to get our offense going tonight," said Rowe. "It's not always about me scoring points, but it's more about opening up our offense and getting more guys involved. It was a tough game and I'm just glad we were able to pull it out."
Joseph led all scorers in the game with 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers, while Dedeaux added 14 points and also dished out six assists for the Broncos