A pair of local college basketball teams were just shy of being crowned conference champions over the weekend, while another gets its shot at a title this week.
The Berry men and Georgia Highland women both fought their way to the championship games of their respective conference tournaments and both came up short by a combined nine points.
While the two squads are finished with conference play, the Georgia Highlands men will get started in their conference tournament on Tuesday.
Here’s a closer look at the action:
Berry rally comes up short
The Vikings went down early against Centre on the road Sunday and fought back to a 36-36 tie at halftime before eventually falling 72-69 after a late run by the Colonels in the Southern Athletic Association championship game.
The Colonels jumped out to an 18-point lead less than eight minutes into the game before Berry’s rally. The Vikings pulled ahead in the second half to take an eight-point lead, but the Colonels’ efforts from behind the 3-point line powered the team back for the win.
Austin Brooks led the Vikings with 18 points.
Berry finishes its season with a 19-9 overall record for its second 19-win season in a row.
Prior to Sunday’s game, the Vikings had a pair of players earn all-conference recognition. Caleb Haynes was named to the first team and Micah Johnson was selected to the second team.
Haynes led the conference and was in the top 10 of Division III schools in shooting percentage at 64.5 percent. He led the Vikings with 14.2 points per game, including a season-best 27 points against Birmingham-Southern.
In his first year with the Vikings, Johnson was second on the team in scoring with 12 points per game and led the team in steals.
GHC women fall in finals
Georgia Highlands saw an 18-point halftime lead evaporate in the second half as the Chargers came up short 69-63 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association championship game on Saturday against South Georgia Tech.
Tynasia Bunting scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Chargers (21-10), Nijeria Jordan followed with 12 points, and Jahnaria Brown scored 11 points.
The loss to the Jets was the fourth of the season for GHC and were the only conference losses the Chargers had all season.
GHC men set to tip off
The Chargers are set to get their shot at a GCAA title underway Tuesday on their home court. GHC will host South Georgia Tech at 7:30 p.m. to open tournament play.
The Chargers have played the Jets twice in the regular season and have come out on top in both contests.
GHC takes the No. 2 seed into the tournament, finishing the regular season with a 13-3 record against GCAA opponents.
Prior to the tournament, the GCAA released its All-Region Team, with several GHC players being honored.
Trevin Wade took the top honor for the Chargers being named Player of the Year.
Wade led the Chargers in scoring with 17.6 points per game and averaged 3.9 rebounds per game.
Also on the first team was teammate Cahiem Brown, while Langston Wilson earned honorable mention. Jamal Burke was named to the All-Defensive Team, and Cahiem Brown and Langston Wilson were named to the All-Freshman Team.