LILBURN -- The matchup with Berkmar hasn't been a particularly good one for Shiloh's boys basketball teams in the last few seasons.
But it was a key matchup that helped the Region 8-AAAAAA-leading Generals build a fourth-quarter lead and hold on for a 63-60 win Friday at Berkmar to break a three-game losing streak to the Patriots.
"Matchups are always (tricky)," Shiloh coach Kim Rivers said after his team improved to 13-3 overall and 9-1 in the region. "(Berkmar) Coach (Gregory) Phillips has a great game plan for Shiloh, and the games are always competitive. I didn't expect anything less. I think our kids' will at the end of the game was good."
Specifically, the battle of the two big men -- Shiloh's 7-footer Trayvon Reed and Berkmar's 6-9 Tim Rowe -- played a key role throughout the game.
With Reed being forced to the bench after picking up two quick fouls in the first 4:44 of the game, it was Rowe and Berkmar (9-9, 6-5) that had the upper hand in the early going.
Rowe scored seven of his team-high 19 points in the first quarter, and the Patriots scored three baskets on drives down the lane -- two by Jonathan Sanks -- during a 13-6 run over the final 3:43 of the first quarter to take a 22-14 lead.
But even with Reed still saddled with foul trouble in the second quarter, Shiloh began to pick up its defensive intensity, forcing Berkmar into the bulk of its seven first-half turnovers, including two of Evyn Smith's four steals on the game.
That helped the Generals get out in transition, with Nate Mason scoring six points during an 11-4 run that cut the Berkmar lead to just 26-25 after Mason's jumper on the left wing with 3:22 left in the first half before the Patriots stretched it back out to 32-28 by intermission.
After Mason and Cordell Rhymer keyed a 12-5 run over the final 4:05 of the third quarter to give Shiloh its first lead of the night at 45-43 heading into the fourth quarter, Reed, who sat out most of the third quarter after picking up his third foul, went to work.
Following a three-point play by Kyle Lewis on the Generals' first possession pushed the lead to 48-43, Reed grabbed a rebound on the defensive end, then snared a rebound on the other end before following his own missed shot to make the score 50-43.
At about the same time, Rowe hit his elbow and was temporarily forced to the bench.
"The timing was just awful," Phillips said of Rowe's injury. "As soon as Reed came back, Tim hits his funny bone and couldn't feel anything in his hand (for a few minutes).
"So, the timing couldn't have been worse."
And with Rowe out of the game, Reed quickly took advantage, scoring on a stickback and finishing a three-point play on the Generals' next two possessions to finish a run of 10-2 run that stretched the lead to 55-45 with 5:03 remaining.
In all, Reed scored 10 of his 12 points and pulled down all but one of of his five rebounds on the night in the fourth quarter, which erased much of the frustration of sitting much of the first three periods.
"I was just anxious to get in the game," Reed said. "I knew I had to help my team out, and when I got back in, I just went to it. ... I just knew I had to do something."
The lead stayed at 10 points after Mason, who led all scorers with 21 points, hit 1 of 2 free throws with 3:06 remaining.
But the Generals gave Berkmar a chance by missing several key free throws down the stretch, with Reed hitting just 1 of 2 on three separate trips to the line, Rhymer hitting just 1 of 2 and Mason missing two straight in the final 53.3 seconds.
Meanwhile, Rowe hit a stickback, Joseph Gordon connected on a 3-pointer and Sanks added another stickback and was fouled to cut the Shiloh lead to just 63-60 with 4.5 seconds left.
And the Patriots had one last chance when Mason missed his two free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining, but James Sanders' heave from beyond halfcourt was off the mark, and the Generals had held on for the win.
"The turnovers we had in the (second and) third quarter killed us," Phillips said. "And then we kind of waited until it was too late to start fighting back."
Aside from the big night from Mason and Reed, Shiloh also got 11 points and five boards from Rhymer, while Smith added eight points and three assists to go with his four steals and Bryan Thompson had six points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
Sanks also reached double figures for Berkmar with 17 points, while Sanders and Gordon chipped in eight points apiece.
Berkmar girls 49, Shiloh 39
Daijah Cooke scored a game-high 16 points and added seven steals as the Patriots evened their overall record at 9-9 and moved to 6-5 in the region with the win.
Nina Williams also chipped in for the Patriots with 11 points, while LaToya Washington added nine points and nine rebounds.
Bria Ratliff led the Generals (1-15, 0-10) with 14 points and five rebounds and Kaylen Ward contributed 10 points.