Hornets, Cougars, Knights fall in first round of basketball playoffs

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NORTH FULTON, Ga. – Three local boys’ basketball teams lost in the first round of the state Class AAAAAA playoffs last week.

Roswell and Chattahoochee both lost on their home courts, with the Cougars falling in overtime. Centennial lost at Gwinnett opposite Peachtree Ridge. 

Berkmar 60, Roswell 47: The Hornets rallied in the fourth quarter Feb. 20 to close within five points with just over three minutes to play, but visiting Berkmar outscored the Hornets 14-6 down the stretch.

Roswell (17-12) was led by guards Sean Brennan (20 points) and Matt Beneducci (13), with Brennan hitting 10 of 12 free throws and Beneducci connecting on four three-pointers.

The game was a Super Bowl-like match-up of coaching brothers, with Berkmar’s Greg Phillips and his Patriots avenging a first round state playoff loss two years ago to the Hornets and head coach Ty Phillips.

Meadowcreek 76, Chattahoochee 72: The Cougars dug themselves out of a deep early hole against visiting Meadowcreek, but suffered a tough overtime defeat against a team that was 8-16 in the regular season.

The Mustangs led 23-6 after one quarter, but the Cougars’ Markus Terry led a rally that enabled the Cougars to get back in the game by the middle of the third quarter.

Marcus Sheffield gave the Cougars a 55-54 lead midway through the final period, with regulation ending with the teams tied 59-59.

The Mustangs led by six with 1:30 to play in overtime, and preserved their lead by hitting 13 of 17 free throws in the extra period. Chattahoochee (22-8) had a chance to tie or win, trailing by two in the final 15 seconds. But a turnover and a pair of Meadowcreek free throws sealed the Cougars’ loss.

Terry scored 31 points and Sheffield added 22. Trey Archambeau, playing with a cast on his wrist, returned to action and contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

Peachtree Ridge 57, Centennial 38: The Knights trailed only 19-18 at halftime, but Peachtree Ridge outscored the visitors 19-6 in the third period. Centennial finishes the season 17-12 with the Lions 21-9 after a second round victory.