Two teams earned a first-round bye Friday night inside Wayne County’s gymnasium.
West Jones claimed the bye and the region tournament title, defeating South Jones 55-50 in the girl’s portion of the Region 5-5A Basketball Tournament. In the boy’s bracket, Wayne County stunned Laurel 60-56 to earn its first Region 5-5A title since the 2012-13 season and a first-round bye in postseason play.
The two-day tournament, which started on Tuesday night, came to a close Friday night as playoffs are set to begin on Monday.
Girls Consolation Game
Laurel girls earned a spot in the playoffs with a convincing 68-26 win over Wayne County. The Lady Tornadoes will enter the postseason as a No. 3 seed.
Jvanike Arrington led Laurel in points with 17. Mia Moore added 16 points in the win, while Zoey Cooley finished in double-digits also with 12.
Laurel outscored Wayne County 14-2 in the first period and continued to outscoring the Lady War Eagles in the remaining three periods to win the girl’s consolation contest.
Boys Consolation Game
West Jones overcame South Jones in the final period to defeat its county rivals 52-51 and advance to postseason play as a No. 3 seed.
West Jones trailed at the end of the first three periods before outscoring South Jones, 23-15, in the final stanza to pull out the come-from-behind win in the boy’s consolation game. Jon-Micah Coleman led the fourth-period surge for West Jones with eight points.
Coleman and Khalil Brown led West Jones in points with 12 apiece.
Girls Championship Game
West Jones held off a comeback attempt by South Jones in the final period, 55-50, to win the region title and earn a first-round bye in postseason play.
Brikayla Gray led West Jones with 19 points. Jurnee McLaurin added 15 points, while Miesha Bender also scored in double-digits with 10.
Despite the loss, South Jones advances to postseason play as a No. 2 seed, thanks to its 74-64 win over Laurel last Tuesday night.
Kelsi Jackson led South Jones in points with 19.
Click on the link to hear what West Jones girls head coach Sharon Murray had to say after the win: https://youtu.be/8wzE8iN5hQ0
Boys Championship Game
Wayne County outscored Laurel 19-13 in the fourth period win the region title and earn a first-round bye, 60-56.
A tip-in basket by Wayne County guard E. Seldon tied the score, 52-52, with 2:03 remaining in the game. Wayne County outscored Laurel 8-4 in the final two minutes to win the boy’s championship contest.
Seldon and Z. Wesley led Wayne County with 12 points each. (Stat book nor Maxpreps.com provided first names for Seldon and Welsey)
Despite the loss, Laurel, the defending Class 5A champs will enter postseason play as a No. 2 seed.
Tyrese Ulmer led Laurel with 18 points, all of which were three-point baskets.