Stringer built leads, and Sebastopol cut into them. The continuous carousel last until the third quarter Thursday night inside Stringer’s gymnasium in both team’s regular-season Region 7-1A finale.
Back-to-back-to-back three’s built a moderate Stringer lead midway through the third period that lasted the remainder of the night. Stringer wraps up the regular season with a 57-45 win over Sebastopol on Senior Night.
“We had some big-time guys that came off the bench for us,” said Stringer head boys basketball coach Brandon Jennings. “Guys like Carson Stringer and Gavin Goldman don’t usually see big minutes. I thought they played great. Reece King also contributed.”
Stringer’s two threes, with Bridges’ three sandwiched in-between, built Stringer a 38-25 lead with 4:15 left on the clock in the third period.
Stringer constructed leads of eight and 10 points in the first and second quarter. Sebastopol fought back both times nearly bring the game to a tie.
“We have to get better at handling the basketball at the end of the quarters,” said Jennings. “But I thought Carson Stringer did a good job with the basketball, and a monster dunk by Keyshawn Dease got us going.”
Jennings said part of the problem in the first two quarters was caused by its lack of outside shots.
Senior Keyshawn Dease led Stringer on the board with 22 points, but it was the play of sophomore guard Omarion Bridges that made an impression. Bridges, who usually averages 9.7 points a game, finished with 20.
“With Bridges as a sophomore, our goal this summer is to get him stronger,” said Jennings. “He handles the ball well, and he’s been shooting the basketball well over these last two games. He handles things as well as anyone being that he’s left-handed. He also creates opportunities for other guys. He’s just a great basketball player.”
Bridges made consecutive shots late into the third period and early in the fourth to help Stringer maintain its double-digit lead.
Goldman, Stringer, Tate McNeil, Landon Elkins and Reece King also aided with points.
With the regular season completed, Stringer (18-9, 5-3) will enter the Region 7-1A Basketball Tournament set for next week as a two-seed.
“I think Region 7-1A is the toughest district in 1A, north or south,” said Jennings. “Teams [in our district include] Piney Woods, Sebastopol, Leake County and Mount Olive. Going in as a two-seed we hope to win that first game and have a chance to play for the district championship and see where we go from there.”
Stringer fell to Sebastopol 50-42 in the girls game.
Hanna Chancellor land Breanna Ansley led Stringer with 12 points each. All of Chancellor’s points came in the second half.
Stringer girls fall to 2-18 as the regular season comes to a close.