C.A. Johnson entered the final week of the Region 4-1A boys basketball campaign in a three way tie for first place, but by the time the smoke had clear in the final round of regular season play on Thursday the Groon Hornets were on the outside looking in.
Louis Dreher young team finished in fifth place after dropping road games to Blackville-Hilda and region champion Hunter-Kinard-Tyler in the final week.
“This region was tough, a lot tougher than I was led to believe,” said Dreher. “We bring a lot of guys back that learned some hard lessons this season, so maybe things will work out a little better for us.”
The Green Hornets (13-11, 9-5) started the fall from grace in a bitter 47-46 loss Tuesday at Blackville-Hilda. CAJ trailed by one points with eight seconds to go when a foul call negated a steal and a potential breakaway lay-up. The Hawks missed the free throw, but that only left the Green Hornets with a desperation heave that fell short.
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H-K-T locked up the title with a 55-45 win on Thursday. CAJ pulled within 36-35 of the host Trojans in the third quarter before turning cold.
“It was bad timing for us to have an off shooting night,” mused Dreher.
Junior Antonio Brown had 13 points at H-K-T, Davon Dash added 11 and sophomore Datron Jackson chipped in 10.
North, Blackville-Hilda and Williston-Elko finished in a three-way tie for second place. The three teams will gather at Bamberg-Ehrhardt tonight to sort out seed for the small-school playoffs.
CAJ’s girls also went 0-2 in the final week, but had already secured a playoff spot with a win last Friday vs. North. The Green Hornets (9-11, 8-6) will be the region’s No. 4 playoff seed.
Final Region 4-1A boys standings
Hunter-Kinard-Tyler 11-3; Blackville-Hilda 10-4; North 10-4; Williston-Elko 10-4; C.A. Johnson 9-5; Wagener-Salley 3-11; Ridge Spring-Monetta 2-12; Fox Creek 1-13.
Final Region 4-2A girls standings
Blackville-Hilda 13-1; Hunter-Kinard-Tyler 13-1; Williston-Elko 9-5; C.A. Johnson 8-6; North 5-9; Ridge Spring-Monetta 4-10; Wagener-Salley 3-11; Fox Creek 0-14.