WARNER ROBINS -- Denied its calling card festival of 3-point shots, Dublin turned to its inside game and slipped past Northside 96-84 in a first-round game of the Houston County Bear Brawl on Saturday.
Senior point guard Trey Rozier scored 13 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Irish pulled away in the final five minutes of the contest. Dublin (4-1) advances to the tournament semifinals and will play Warner Robins at 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Dublin’s only loss came against the Demons on Dec. 6.
Northside tied the game at 74 on a layup by Jarius Smith with 6:30 left. The Irish responded immediately with a free throw by Quinton Isaac to regain the lead. From there, Rozier took over. Dublin led 88-80 at the four-minute mark. The Eagles got no closer than eight points the rest of the game.
“(Rozier) was pretty much the difference in the ballgame,” Northside head coach Ken Price said. “He managed to keep them in their tempo. He was a step ahead of us all night.”
Through their previous four games, the Irish averaged more than 14 made 3-pointers per game. Saturday’s game followed the same pattern early. Rozier hit three 3-point shots in the first quarter as Dublin bolted to a 26-20 lead.
But Northside (3-3) extended its defense and effectively took that shot away. Dublin finished the game with just six made 3-pointers. Only one came after intermission.
“When I saw they were taking away the outside, I told my teammates to go the hole,” Rozier said.
Senior Odell Anderson provided Dublin with a solid inside presence throughout the game. The senior scored 24 points. Half came from the free throw line. He had a key, traditional three-point play as the Irish closed the game out.
Northside had five players in double figures led by Justin Burnam and Devon Tanner who each scored 16 points.
Warner Robins 56, Bleckley County 50
Defending girls champion Warner Robins rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit and defeated Bleckley County in a first-round game in the girls bracket.
Trailing 40-35 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Demonettes (6-0) scored eight unanswered points in the first 49 seconds of the frame. A technical foul on the Bleckley County bench helped the Warner Robins cause. Senior Kenyona Armstrong sank both free throws to give the Demonettes a 41-40 lead with 7:30 left in the game. She hit a layup a few seconds later to extend the lead and Warner Robins was never headed.
Armstrong led the Demonettes with 16 points. Keiona Black and Aaliyah Jones added 10 points each.
Bleckley County sophomore Tia Troup led all scorers with 17 points. The Lady Royals fell to 4-3 on the season.
Warner Robins will play Carver-Columbus in a semifinal game at 4 p.m. on Monday. The Lady Tigers defeated Monroe 56-54.