Berkmar, North Gwinnett claim region titles
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA - Region champions were crowned on Wednesday in one of the most talent-rich counties in the country. We were posted up at the Region 8-7A and Region 7-7A tournaments to see the champions get crowned.
BERKMAR SWEEPS NORCROSS
Long after the photos and trophy presentations and hugs from family, friends and fans, Berkmar head coach Greg Phillips stood in the lobby of Discovery High School with a towel draped around his shoulders. His hair was still damp from a likely locker room dousing of water bottles from his players in the locker room. His team just beat Norcross for the third time on the season, sweeping the series on the year.
“This was our best defensive game of the year,” Phillips said with almost a hint of relief in his voice.
It was hard to argue with that statement. The Patriots made life miserable for Norcross, holding the Blue Devils to season-low 39 points. The win also meant this was the first time Phillips and his program has ever swept Norcross. The pairing has quickly emerged into one of the best rivalries in all of high school basketball across the country.
Berkmar was balanced on offense, but mostly gritty where it needed to be. Senior Brycen Blaine scored 18 points while fellow senior Jermahri Hill pumped in 11.
Scoring came with some work in this game. Blaine, an unsigned senior from Virginia, carried the load in the first half. He scored half of his points in the first quarter. As a team, Berkmar only scored five field goals in the second half.
They won by putting on the clamps on the Norcross squad, making star junior guard London Johnson try to beat them on his own. Johnson scored all of his 14 points in the second half but in the end, it wasn’t enough. Norcross just couldn’t get anything to drop at the rim. Samarion Bond scored 10 for Norcross.
NORTH GWINNETT OUTLASTS COLLINS HILL
Three straight. That's the run North Gwinnett is on in Region 8-7A. With their 61-53 win over Collins Hill on Wednesday afternoon.
In the end, it was just too much RJ Godfrey. The Clemson-bound forward scored 28 points, grabbed six rebounds and passed out five assists. He took over the game in the fourth quarter, after a great surge from Collins Hill in the fourth quarter.
Godfrey made two huge passes to junior big man Julian Walker for dunks and then a score in the clutch that essentially sealed the deal for the Bulldogs. Godfrey's passing was absolutely brilliant in the win.
Senior Dylan Gary scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the win. Walker's rim protection was important in the clutch, too. Senior Thomas Allard scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Collins Hill went into the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead but North Gwinnett made stops and shots when it mattered.
The Eagles were paced by Kaden McArthur, who scored 13 and AJ Muller, who scored 10.