COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Tuesday night’s Region 4-AAAA boys basketball game between the Griffin Bears and the No. 4-state ranked North Clayton Eagles was a tale of two halves.
The first 16 minutes saw Griffin hang tough with the Eagles, trailing North Clayton 28-20 at the half despite the Bears missing all 8 of their free throws and missing four lay-ups. The state-ranked Eagles then blitzed Griffin 47-23 in the final 16 minutes to defeat the Bears 75-43, sending them to their fifth consecutive loss. Tae Mayes led Griffin with 17 points (he hit five 3-pointers) and Jahmad Clemons chipped in 11.
North Clayton is 23-2 overall, 14-2 in the region and is the No. 1 seed in the Region 4-AAAA Tournament, which will start next Monday at Mt. Zion High in Jonesboro.
With the loss, Griffin (5-19 overall, 3-12 region) falls into an eighth-place tie with the Forest Park Panthers (4-20, 3-12) and will face the Panthers today at 7:30 p.m. at The House in the regular-season finale. Forest Park recently beat Griffin 60-39 at Forest Park High on Feb. 5.
A win today by the Bears and they stay at No. 8 and face the No. 7 seed Ola Mustangs in the region tournament first-round game next Monday at 5:30 p.m. Griffin swept Ola this year, winning 54-53 and 44-41.
However, a Griffin loss today will put the Bears as the No. 9 seed, where they will face either the Dutchtown Bulldogs, Alcovy Tigers or Stockbridge Tigers Monday night at 8:30 p.m. — all three teams sport 8-8 region records and one will be the No. 6 seed after tiebreakers are settled. Griffin was swept by Dutchtown and Stockbridge, but split with Alcovy.