Royals Return to Final Four After Near 30-Year Drought | HS Sports
It'd been three years since Bleckley and Vidalia, once region foes, had matched up on the basketball court. Tuesday, the Royals and Indians squared off inside a packed H. Ralph Parsons gym in Vidalia for a berth in this weekend's final four.
Vidalia came out hot from three-point range, hittng four in the first quarter. Two more Indian three's in the second made it a 12-point game. Rydealous Taylor scored nine, his first points of the game, as part of a 19-4 run capped by Dytrez Nelson's layup as time expired. BCHS led 33-30 at the break.
Taylor capped the third quarter with his third three as time expired to make it a nine-point game. Mario Beck hit a pair of free throws early in the fourth after a flagrant foul as the lead grew to 12. The Indians seveventh and eighth three-pointers of the game were part of their 13-1 run to go up 55-54 with 3:46. Beck scored the next four points.
Ken Hughes scored and Taylor hit eight straight free throws. Head coach Cliff Kerbo would later on point to it as a key down the strech. Vidalia continued to bomb away, hitting two more three-point shots. Their final came with just seconds left to cap all scoring as BCHS won 69-67.
Taylor scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half. Beck scored 18. Hughes had 15. Kerbo was very proud of the team winning noting that "It's hard to beat someone in their gym in an environment like this with what was at stake." He praised the efforts of Taylor an Hughes who stepped up because of a collapsing Indian defense on Beck. Of Taylor's makes Kerbo said "We got the ball in the right person's hands."
Bleckley plays for a berth in the state title game Friday versus Jordan. Tip time is 5:30 pm at the Cetennial Center in Milledgeville.