Before returning to Sylvester after an 11 day stretch of away games, the Worth County Rams fell to the 1-AA Early County Bobcats in overtime by a single point Friday night in Blakely, 79-78. This would mark the Rams second consecutive overtime loss on the 2014-15 season after falling to the Demons from Warner Robins the previous week.
But Saturday, the boys were coming home to take on the Bainbridge Bearcats in their first region contest of the season. This game would also serve as a marker for the Worth team to measure their ability among 1-AAAA opponents as the Bearcats boast one of the top scorers in the state with junior point guard Tyree Crump.
Also, this would be the first contest between these teams in region history as the Bearcats transition from AAAAAA to the smaller AAAA region. But, Worth’s junior Brandon Moore holds the second highest points per game average in the region behind Crump at 22.7. And, junior Anfrenee McLemore is ranked seventh in the region for points scored. So, the gym was packed Saturday night and roaring with anticipation for a great game.
However, things were not shaping up as the Rams had hoped in the first half with this Bearcat prodigy Crump putting up 21 points in the first half and the Worth team trailing by 16 at the half, 44-28. As the second half began, the Cats came out and immediately delivered a vicious dunk to set the tone. The Rams put up two points of their own, then Crumb drained a three to continue pulling away.
But, Worth County was unfazed by the Bainbridge display. Indeed, it seemed to make the home team more determined as the third quarter ticked away, and soon, the Rams were chipping away at the lead. Anfernee McLemore sank a three point shot of his own as the third quarter ended, and the Rams were suddenly within five points of the lead as the fourth began, 58-63.
Brandon Moore muscled inside to lay up for two and draw a fowl for the extra point to pull within two points. Then a few minutes later, Jamon Moore stole the ball and passed to Brandon Moore under the basket for another layup. With five minutes remaining in the contest, the Rams were leading by a single point.
Bainbridge stretched the lead back out, mostly on free throws, and with 30 seconds left, the Bearcats were back up by five points, 82-77. But, the Rams battle back again quickly and desperately as the final seconds ticked away and Jamon Moore drained another three to tie the game at 82 and send it into overtime.
The game was close until the bitter end, and the Worth boys did all they could Saturday night in Sylvester, but it ended with Crump sinking enough free throws in overtime to gain the advantage. The Bearcats won, 96-93, and Crump accounted for 54 of those points.
On his team’s performance Saturday, Rams head basketball coach Arthur Davis stated,
“We battled back. We played hard tonight. Considering that the last two games, the officiating didn’t really go our way. For us to come out tonight and play hard. We knew Bainbridge was going to be one of the better teams in the region, and I’m proud of the way they played. I just wish we could have made some more free throws. It might have made a difference, but I’m proud of the way we played as a team. I want to stress that. We played as a team, and we played to the end.”
And, Worth Athletic Director Russ Beard took an opportunity to speak on the basketball team as they prepare to move forward with the region schedule,
“I’m really proud of the work Arthur (Davis) has done… I think he does a great job with our kids, and for us to be able to come back from being five down in just a minute to tie it up and take us into overtime. Our fans need to know that too. Let’s look at how, in the last five or six years, our basketball program has developed.”
This week, the basketball teams will host the Dougherty Trojans Tuesday night before travelling to Americus on Friday to face the Panthers.