After making one last push to get within reach of winning a conference title for the first time in three years, Georgia Highlands’ men’s basketball team ran out of time.
Playing Central Georgia Tech for the second time in a week, the Chargers took on the Titans on their home court in Macon on Saturday for the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association championship and lost 74-70.
The game, which also served as the NJCAA Region 17 finals, saw Georgia Highlands lead by as many as 10 points in the first half and go into halftime with a 37-30 advantage.
Central Georgia Tech came out and went on an 11-1 run to start the second half and kick off a back-and-forth struggle that led to a last-minute rally by the Chargers that included Cahiem Brown sinking all three foul shots in a trip to the free-throw line and Jamal Burke coming into the game and making a layup with nine second left to cut the Titans lead to 72-70.
With time running short, Felix Gue fouled Central Georgia Tech’s Montavious Terrell, who went to the line and made both shots. Brown attempted a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was no good.
Brown, who came off the bench and has consistently been one of the Chargers’ leading scorers, finished with a game-high 29 points.
Conference player of the year Trevin Wade had 10 and was the only other Charger in double digits. Nicolas Huteau had nine points, and Tajah Fraley hat eight.
Georgia Highlands (24-8) last won the GCAA title in 2017, while Central Georgia Tech has won it every year since.
Brown also went 4-of-9 from behind the arc and had two blocks while going 9-of-11 from the foul line. Huteau was 3-of-5 from 3-point territory.
The Chargers lost to the Titans 85-74 a week earlier in the final regular season game for both teams that ultimately gave Central Georgia Tech the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
Georgia Highlands was the No. 2 seed and set their date for a rematch Friday night as several players helped defeat South Georgia State College 73-69 in the GCAA semifinals.
The Chargers were led by Wade and Brown with 24 points each in a game that came down to the wire.
Brown ultimately sealed the win by hitting a pair of free throws with 5.2 seconds left in a contest that saw GHC trail by two at the half. In addition to Wade and Brown, GCAA All-Defensive player Burke grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds (12 defensive) to help the Chargers on the defensive end.