By EDDY GIFFORD
The Wolverine basketball team traveled back to Armuchee on Tuesday, Feb. 14, for their final game in the Region 7 tournament against the Trion Bulldogs. The teams were playing for the third and fourth seeds for the upcoming state tournament that they punched their tickets for on Saturday, Feb. 11.
The Wolverines had defeated the Bulldogs twice during the regular season, 56-44 and 63-56, with both games being decided in the final minutes.
This game would be no different. Dade took the lead in the first quarter, 12-11, as both teams played excellent defense in the low scoring first quarter.
Trion battled hard in the second quarter and by the end of the first half had taken a two point lead, outscoring the Wolverines 10-7 for a 21-19 lead.
The action picked up in the third quarter as both team settled in and found their shooting range. Dade County cut the lead to a single point by the end of the quarter, 37-38 and set up a wild fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs built their lead early in the fourth quarter only to see the Wolverines put on a furious comeback led by Brody Cooper who hit three, three-point shots late in the game and then they had a three-point shot rimmed out at the buzzer that would have tied the game.
In the end, the Wolverines came up short, falling 56-53 to Trion and having to settle for the fourth seed in the upcoming state tournament.
Cooper led all scorers with 25 points, hitting five three-point shots in the game. Bryson Shrader finished the night with ten points and Levi Moreland finished with nine points.
Trion 11 10 17 18 56
Dade Co. 12 07 18 16 53
Bryson Shrader 10, Demetris Walker, Carter Christiansen, Kade Pardue 1, Brody Cooper 25, Zach Counts 2, Ben Williams, Conner Wilburn, Levi Moreland 9, Braydan Jones 6.
The Wolverines will travel to Athens Christian School today for a 6 p.m. game in the first round of the state tournament.
The Athens Christian Eagles are the top seed from region eight and will enter the game with a 15-9 overall record and 7-1 in region play.
The region seven versus region eight first round match ups are: Elbert County 3-25 at Darlington 22-3, Tuesday 6 p.m.; Tallulah Falls 17-9 at Chattooga 17-9, Wednesday, 6 p.m.; Trion 12-10 at Rabun County 15-11, Tuesday, 6 p.m.; and Dade County 14-12 at Athens Christian 15-9, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Good luck to the Wolverines and all the region seven teams!