The ECI girls basketball team captured the Region 3 Championship Friday defeating Claxton 64-55. The Bulldogs defeated Screven Co. 79-64 in the first round, setting up the clash against the Tigers in the Championship game.
Senior Prencis Harden was the scoring leader in the game for ECI, putting 30 points on the board. NuTuri Smith was the other Bulldog in double digits with 14 points.
The Lady Dawgs will host the first round of the state playoff Tuesday, facing the Indians from Charlton Co.
Charlton enters the playoffs as the number four seed from region 2 with a season record of 14-9.
After a rough start to begin the season losing their first six games, the Bulldogs have reeled off 12 straight wins and enter the playoffs with a 12-6 record and number one seed out of region three. The Bulldogs are averaging 48.7 points per game during the season.
Although you don’t like to point to one player in a team sport, those six losses early in the season were without their senior scoring leader Harden. Prencis didn’t play her first game for ECI until January, and the Bulldogs haven’t lost since her return.
The pre-season all-state player has averaged 27.5 points per game, scoring 330 points in just 12 games this season. Harden has scored 1,606 points during her career, including a whopping 729 last season.
The ECI boys basketball team will travel to Irwin Co. Wednesday as the number four seed from region three. The fifth-ranked Indians are the number one seed from region 2 with an 18-4 season record.
The Bulldogs’ three tournament games could have gone either way. They defeated Screven Co. in the first round 43-41. Eventually, region champion Portal defeated ECI 59-54 in the second.
The Bulldogs lost a close one to Claxton 60-59 to determine the third and fourth seeds in the region. The half ended with a 2-point advantage for Claxton. The Bulldogs brought the deficit down to a point in the third, down 41-40 with both teams matching in the fourth quarter with 19 points each, giving ECI a one-point loss to the Tigers.