It took all of three quarters, and a few moments in the fourth for Banks County to completely dash any hopes of the visiting Bulldogs of claiming a first round win. The Leopards (24-4) went on an insurmountable run in the final quarter of the GHSA Class 2A first round playoff game on the way to a 71-45 win.
It was the usual suspects stuffing that box score, as Carl Cleveland did…well, Carl Cleveland things. The senior, who recently joined a RARE and ELITE group of players to ever record 2,000 points and 1,000-rebounds, poured in a game-high 36 points. He notched his 26th double-double of the season, and made his 15-point first half look like chump change when he found another gear in the back half. He scored 21 points in the third and fourth quarters, just about outscoring Washington (23 points) in that half.
The Bulldogs (11-17) wouldn’t cave in until late, as they led 14-12 after one, and trailed 31-22 at the break. In the second quarter, Banks County would use an 8-0 run to create a little separation. Cleveland scored the first 12 Leopards points in the third quarter (there were only 14 in the quarter for the whole team), as the Bulldogs could not come up with an answer to stop him.
It was a respectable 45-37 game going into the final 8 minutes, but Cleveland and his teammates piled on bucket after bucket, outscoring Washington 26-8 in the fourth to close out the game.
Banks County was led by Cleveland’s 36 points, while Clay Gosnell had 9, Gavin Brown 7, Pierce Martin and Garrett Presley with 6 points each, and Sawyer Pace had 5. Washington was led by Leonard Rapley and Demariontay Hall, who both had 13 points in the loss.
The Leopards advance to take on the winner of Butler in the second round. Banks County, as well-documented, has gotten to the Sweet 16 now 5 times (all within the last 6 seasons), but has never gotten past that point. That could be about to change.
Digital Copy of Highlights – Banks vs Washington (RND 1)
Digital Copy of Highlights - Banks vs Washington (RND 1)