The Bartow County Recreation Department 10U Boys basketball team once again reached the finals of the GRPA State Tournament, but once again came up just short in their quest to bring home a state title.
In Friday night’s preliminary action, Bartow started fast with a convincing 50-32 win over Spalding County.
Jabari Burleson led Bartow with a dominating performance. He scored 28 points, including 8 for 11 from the free throw line. Jorian Bailey finished with 13 points, Jeremy Dent posted five, and Tavaris Burleson and Lance Tippett each scored two points.
In Saturday’s quarterfinals, Bartow handily defeated South Fulton 47-21. Using a more balanced attack than in the Spalding County game, Bartow grabbed a large lead early and never looked back.
Jabari Burleson led Bartow with 10 points, Jeremy Dent scored eight, Tavaris Burleson, Lance Tippett, and Jaylon Watkins added six each, Christian McClendon five, Jorian Bailey four, and Kaiden Kent scored two points.
In the semifinals, Bartow faced a familiar foe in Smyrna. Smyrna wanted to avenge their loss to Bartow in the District 5 finals and for three quarters it looked like that might happen.
Bartow went on a tear in the fourth quarter and flipped a two-point deficit to as much as a nine-point lead before finishing with a 47-40 victory.
Jeremy Dent scored 17 to lead Bartow, Jabari Burleson totaled 13, Tavaris Burleson six, Jorian Bailey five, Kaiden Kent four, and Christian McClendon added two points.
Bartow faced Savannah in the finals and never could get on the right track in the game. Despite falling behind early, Bartow managed to stay within reach and cut the lead to one at halftime. Savannah managed to keep Bartow at bay in the second half, however, and won the contest 40-35.
Jeremy Dent scored 15 to lead Bartow, Jabari Burleson had seven, Tavaris Burleson five, Jorain Bailey three, Lance Tippett and Jaylon Watkins two each, and Christian McClendon scored one.
BARTOW 10U GIRLS ELIMINATED IN STATE SEMIFINALS
The BCRD 10U Girls defeated Rome Saturday in the state quarterfinals 26-16 to set up a state semifinal game with tournament host Whitfield County. Bartow led Rome 7-4 after one quarter, but trailed 12-9 at halftime before battling back for a second half win.
Bartow took a 15-14 advantage by the end of the third quarter and pulled away for a 26-16 victory.
Jabryanna Harris led the way for Bartow 10U with 12 points. Zakiaya Banks and Rakhia Pace added eight and six points, respectively. In the state semifinals, Bartow was eliminated by host and eventual state runner up Whitfield County, 57-13. Whitfield lost to Dekalb County in the state title game, 52-33.
~~ Jeff Shinall of the BCRD contributed to this report.