LILBURN — The top-seeded McConnell girls and Bay Creek boys captured the Eastern Division middle school basketball tournament championships on Saturday.
In the boys game, Bay Creek (15-0) overcame a late deficit to defeat Trickum 58-57. McConnell (15-0) withstood a challenge from Grace Snell and won 42-32.
Bay Creek’s Jarren Williams hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in the game to give the Rams a 58-57 lead. Trickum had one final chance on an inbound play at the buzzer, but the layup attempt was too strong and Bay Creek celebrated the title.
Trickum nearly upset the favored Rams. The first half saw each team gain the lead only to lose it. They were knotted at 30 as they went into halftime.
In the third quarter, Trickum built a 44-37 advantage only to see Bay Creek pull within 48-44 by the end of the quarter.
Trickum pushed the lead to as much as eight points, 54-46, but the Rams started to speed up the tempo and went on a 9-0 run to take a 55-54 lead. Trickum’s Trey Morrison connected on two free throw to give the Panthers (12-3) the lead. Another Morrison free throw increased the lead to 57-55 and set the stage for the frantic finish.
Trickum was led by Cameron Chavers and Justin Spencer who each scored 11. Bay Creek was led by Travis Anderson’s game high 18 points and Mo Sykes’ 16.
In the girls game, McConnell rushed out to a 13-8 advantage after the first quarter. Snell (13-2) put the pressure on as the second quarter began and cut the lead to 13-11. The Tigers reasserted their dominance and went on a 10-0 run to increase their lead to 23-11. McConnell was able to attack the Snell defense because the Comets’ guards were plagued by foul trouble. The Tigers were able to penetrate and pass to teammates without hesitation.
McConnell took a 12-point advantage into halftime and was able to maintain the margin in the second half. Snell was led by Jasmine Williams’ 10 points. Xian Lopez added nine for the Comets. Bria Harmon led McConnell with a game high 13 points while teammate Kyleeyah Whitehead added nine.
All Tournament Teams
Boys: Justin Mascall, Shiloh; Mo Sykes, Bay Creek; Nick Edwards, Couch; Torey Zanders, Snell; Travis Anderson, Bay Creek; Amari Kelley, Five Forks; Camerson Chavers, Trickum; Orvel Gram, Couch; Derrick Lawrence, Moore; Jarren Williams, Bay Creek
Girls: Asia McCoy, McConnell; Conner Batchelor, Bay Creek; Hannah Turnbull, Trickum; Jasmine Williams, Snell; Kendra Hutchinson, Bay Creek; Kyliyah Cooper, Snell; Christianah Olukaju, McConnell; Emaini Walker, Shiloh; Raven Etheredge, Berkmar; Jazmin Robinson, Crews