Bears go to semis

By Willie R. Cole

Senior Staff Photographer

The final score was 96-83 as the Brookhaven College Bears stole the magic from the Eastfield College Harvesters at the Metro Athletic Conference Quarterfinals Feb. 14. The two basketball teams met earlier that week in a conference game, playing on Eastfield’s home court, with Brookhaven winning in overtime by 1 point.

Aaron Peterson and the Harvesters’ captains met at half court to receive instruction from the referees while the teams finished their warm-ups. At tip off, the Harvesters took possession of the ball and scored in the first few seconds of the game.

Trading baskets back and forth, the Bears managed to hold on without taking the lead. The Bears kept the game close with precision passing and carefully picked shots. It was not until six and a half minutes into the first half that the Bears took the lead in the game, with a score of 13-11.

Eastfield head coach Anthony Fletcher substituted players left and right during the first half. As the first half progressed, the Harvesters put their game into high gear, gaining as much as a 10-point lead.

The fouls were adding up, rebounding was at a low, and the Bears could not put a string of shots together. “The problem this year with the first half hasn’t been our defense, it has been our offense,” Bear’s head coach Kevin Hurst said. “It was the same problem at Eastfield. We only had 27 points at halftime, and were making a lot of mistakes in the offense … and the slowdown of the offense makes the Bears look worse than what they are.”

With the first half ending, Brookhaven managed to pull within 1 point of the Harvesters and went into the locker room with the score 37-38.

As the second half started, the Bears took the lead, 39-38. The Bears put a push on scoring and rebounding and began stealing the game away from Eastfield, holding them for three minutes without scoring. With 15 minutes left on the clock, the Bears launched a special defense that Hurst said is only used on rare occasions.

Time was running out in the battle, with the final outcome determining who would go home and who would go on to the MAC Semifinals.

Eastfield fought back, but the Bears firmly held a 10- to 14-point lead. With the clock down to two minutes, Eastfield continued rotating players at every turn as the Bears applied pressure and never let up. The Brookhaven Bears advanced to the MAC Semifinals with a final score of 96-83.