March 24, 2019

Braves eliminated in close battle at ‘The Inferno’

(Elberton, GA) — The Heard County Braves basketball season came to an end after a tough loss to No. 8 ranked Elbert County at ‘The Inferno’ in Elberton Saturday night.

The Braves came in as the Region 5-AA No. 4 seed but put up a strong fight versus the Region 8-AA champs even holding a slim lead for a short time in the second half after a bucket by senior Will Hammett.

The Braves would eventually fall by a final score of 62-52.

A pair of timely 3-point baskets to end the third quarter broke a 36-36 tie and sparked a 13-0 run by the Blue Devils that was just too much for the visiting Braves to overcome.

Despite the loss, senior Alijah Huzzie wowed everyone in attendance with an epic performance in his last game as a Brave. Huzzie erupted for 29 points including 16 in the second half and the Devils did not have an easy answer for HuzzieFactor’s ball handling skills up and down the floor.

The Braves fought until the bitter end closing the gap to as few as six points with 1:07 to go in the game before the Devils pulled away in the end.

The Devils had taken an early 18-5 lead in the first quarter fueled by a raucous home environment at the Inferno — an old downtown arena in Elberton that sits next to the iconic ‘Granite Bowl” where the Blue Devils play football.

Senior Alijah Huzzie scored 29 Saturday night at The Inferno

All four senior Braves scored in the game with Hammett and Tray Dunson each tallying eight while Komari Clark added two.

Sophomore Ayden Cannon missed the playoff game with an injury which forced some changes to Coach Keith Simmons’ game plan.

Coach Simmons was very proud of the effort shown in the tough road environment.

“It was a great fight to get back into it but I think it took up a lot of our energy to do that. it was a heck of a season and I hate to see it end like this,” said Simmons after the game.

“We were really missing Ayden Cannon tonight but Ethan Lawson stepped in and played really well for us taking some charges a the end. We hate to lose this senior group and we really appreciate everything they have done. I don’t think they understand how much I will miss them. These aren’t just players to me — this is family. To be down like we were (18-5) that early and to come back and take a lead in this house really shows what these guys are made of.”

Alijah Huzzie was selected first team all region this year while Tray Dunson and Khalil Cofield were honorable mentions. Dunson was also selected to the all-tourney team at the Region 5-AA Tournament.

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