The 2017-2018 West Georgia Middle School Champion HCMS Brave players, coaches, and cheerleaders after Thursday night’s big win in Bowdon
(Bowdon, GA) — The Heard County Middle School boys basketball team outlasted rival Bowdon Thursday night winning 43-39 to claim a second straight West Georgia Middle School Championship.
The hosting and top-seeded Devils put up a strong fight in an exciting game that featured several long runs and a loud environment for hoops.
After the Braves jumped out to a 4-0 lead early, the Devils went on a 15-0 run to take a 15-4 lead early in the second fueled primarily by three point baskets.
The Braves would then gather themselves and battle back to knot the score at 21-21 as the teams headed to the locker room break.
Blake Baldwin set the stage for the Braves with a 3-pointer to open the third quarter and Jameer Cook would add another basket from long-range to build the Braves lead to 33-23 late in the third.
A 7-1 run by the Devils closed it to 34-30 Braves entering the fourth and the Devils would continue to play well tying the game at 34-34 with 6:14 to play in the game. The Braves scored the next four and never trailed again in the game.
While the Devils relied on the outside shooting to keep them in the game, the Braves relied on a balanced attack with strong guard play from Cook, Ty Smith, Baldwin, and Isaiah O’Neal along with good rebounding work on the boards from big men Orrin Rowley and Klayden Kennedy.
The 6′ 4″ Rowley led the scoring for the Braves with 15 followed closely by Ty Smith with 11. Other top scorers included Cook with eight, and Baldwin with five.
“It was a tough game tonight we came out a little slow and maybe a little bit too cocky but we were able to get it together and pull it out,” said head Coach Marquise “Bam” Rogers after the win.
“That Bowdon team really came to play tonight and gave us a good fight. We’ve been through some ups and downs this year with some of our guys playing JV at times and trying to make that mesh but I am so proud of these guys and especially this eighth grade class we are really going to miss those guys.”
Brave varsity coach Keith Simmons was on hand to see some of his future players on the court before they head over to HHS this fall.
Other members of the Brave Championship team included Logan Addison, Cameron Wilkins, L.J. Green, Will Alford, Eli Lawson, Jonathon Echols, Camden Cosper, Luke Bennett, RoRo Edmondson, A.J. Rogers, and Evan Walls.
The win marks back-to-back championships for the team that had gone the 12 years prior with no titles.
In girls’ action it was the Mount Zion Lady Eagles knocking off Villa Rica 40-18 to win the title.