Game becomes Bear blowout

Corey Perrine/Staff
Burke County's Jacquez Rozier throws down a missed shot as Harlem's Dylan Farmer can do nothing but watch. The Bears defeated the Bulldogs by 28 in the Region 3-AAA Tournament.

WAYNESBORO, Ga. --- Steffon Holmes went up after a missed shot and came down with the loud slam.


The dunk was one basket during a huge Burke County third-quarter run as the Bears beat Harlem 78-50 on Tuesday evening in the first round of the boys Region 3-AAA Tournament.

"The press hurt them a bit," Burke County coach Purvis Dukes said. "We were able to get out in transition."

A 17-5 stretch to end the first half gave the Bears (16-6) the lead for good, and they followed it with 33 points in the third period to turn a close game into a blowout.

Next up is North No. 2 Westside in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Thursday.

In the second quarter, back-to-back layups from Brandon Quarterman broke the game's final tie and made it 26-22 Burke County. Quarterman remained hot for the rest of the half, with a 3-pointer giving him nine points in the second quarter. He finished the game with 11.

Harlem coach Kim Chambers described the string of quick scores as "bam, bam, bam," and the Bears went up 39-27 at the break.

The Bears, the South's third seed, scored 23 of the first 25 points in the third quarter.

Jahanas Harden scored all 12 of his points after halftime, knocking down two 3-pointers in the process. He helped the Bears go up 72-37 after three quarters.

By game's end, 12 Burke County players had scored, with nine posting at least four points.

Dukes said the offensive depth has "been our thing."

The Bears' dominance was in stark contrast to the first half, when Harlem was even for most of the 16 minutes.

Darius Johnson connected on two 3-pointers in a row in the opening period to give the Bulldogs (5-21) the lead for the only time at 12-11. Johnson scored eight of his team-best 15 points in the first quarter for the North's six seed.

Burke County's Jacquez Rozier had 13 rebounds by the half as the Bears started to get second-chance points during their two big runs.

Harlem's Jesse Gay did find some success near the rim, getting in a couple layups that tied the game at 20. Gay (11) and Dylan Farmer (10) joined Johnson in double figures for Harlem.

As the night wore on, Burke County's defensive pressure forced turnovers and led to quick buckets.

"Our guys played outstanding," Chambers said. "They played their behinds off. I'm so proud of our guys and how they played."

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