Royals Return to Elite Eight | HS Sports
After losing to Albany in last year's Sweet 16, the Royals looked to make their first elite eight appearance since 2007 with a win Saturday. They played in a packed Westside-Augusta gymnasium against the Patriots, first in the computer-generated Maxwell Ratings.
Big first quarters by Rydealous Taylor and Mario Beck powered Bleckley to a 15-point lead. Beck scored the final six points of the second to help hold off a Westside rally that saw them cut what was a 20-point advantage to 35-22 at halftime.
A three-minute scoring drought to end the third saw BC's lead shrink to two. In the fourth, Beck fouled out with 4:10 left and the Royals up five. Taylor took over. He scored seven of Bleckley's final nine points, including a pair of free throws with 2.8 seconds left. It came after the Patriots had gone ahead with 13 seconds remaining.
BCHS advanced to the elite eight 62-61. Taylor had 25 points. Beck scored 22. Head coach Cliff Kerbo called the victory "A big win for our program." He said he couldn't be "more proud" of the team and their overcoming of obstacles such as crowd as well as Beck and Derrick Farrow fouling out.
Kerbo said Taylor did his job "He (Taylor) knows that when Mario goes out, he's our next option."
The Royals play for a final four berth Wednesday at Vidalia. Tip time is 6 pm. The Lady Royals will try to claim a final fourth berth Tuesday versus Thomasville. Tip time is 6 p.m. in Thomasville.