By Staff Reports
It will be a clash of two Top 5 GHSA Class 6A ranked boys’ basketball teams at the Macon Centreplex on Saturday at 3:00 pm as the No. 5 Tucker Tigers faces off with the No. 1 Tri-Cities Bulldogs.
The two teams are very different with the Tigers using tough defense and rebounding to advance through the first four rounds with wins over Valdosta (65-49), Evans (65-63, 2 OT), Gainesville (65-58) and Heritage-Conyers (52-46).
Tucker advanced to the state title game with a tough 52-46 over Heritage-Conyers as they held their 17th opponent in 32 games under 50 points. The Tigers average 65.4 points per game offensively with 11 games above the 70-point mark while holding their opponents to an average of 49.7 points per game.
A 73.0 scoring clip for the Bulldogs shows an explosive offensive team coming into the championship with 21 games of 70 or more points. The Bulldogs first four games of the state playoffs included wins over Lanier (84-68), No. 10 Chattahoochee (75-64), Mundy’s Mill (77-72) and Brunswick (83-74).
Tri-Cities comes into the title game off an 83-74 victory over Brunswick last week and has scored on an average of 79.8 points per game during the playoff run. They have allowed opponents an average of 69.5 points per game.
Three common opponents this season include Creekside, Miller Grove, and Mundy’s Mill. Tucker is 3-2 against the three going 2-3 against Mundy’s Mill in Region 4-6A, 1-0 vs. Creekside and 0-1 vs. Miller Grove. Tri-Cities is 3-1 with two wins in Region 5-6A against Creekside, 0-1 vs. Miller Grove and a Class 6A quarterfinal win over Mundy’s Mill.
Tucker is led by junior Jermontae Hill (14.8 points, 6.6 rebounds), senior Nate Ogbu (11.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.7 blocks) and senior Nick Watson (12.4 points, 1,038 career points). Guards junior Braylen Seals (1.5 steals, 1.9 assists, 7.7 points) and freshman Raylon Barrion (6.7 points, 3.1 assists, 1.7 steals) round out a very productive group.
This 2019 state championship appearance is the seventh overall for Tucker including state titles in 1996 (78-68 over Westover in Class 3A) and 2007 (56-51 over Columbia in Class 4A). Tucker’s last state title appearance was in 2009 when the Tigers dropped a 59-31 decision to Miller Grove which would go on to win seven state titles in eight seasons.
Coach James Hartry (380-175) picked up win number 380 against Heritage and is in his 19th season at the helm of the Tigers. Tucker has a 46-29 record overall in the state playoffs.
DCSD STATE BASKETBALL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Saturday, March 9
Class 6A Boys at Macon Centreplex
Tucker (28-4) vs. Tri-Cities (25-6), 3:00 pm