Berkmar rode the hot shooting of junior guard Yonel Brown in the first half and Brandon Thompson in the second half and then held on to a 48-45 victory over Archer Tigers in the Region 8-AAAAA boys championship game Saturday at Parkview High School.
Brown, who finished with 13 points, scored nine points in the first half, while Thompson scored eight of his 14 in the second half as the Patriots improved to 20-7 by winning their sixth game in a row.
"We're the playmakers and we want the ball in our hands," said Thompson about him and Brown.
"Yonel, when he gets going early … that opens driving lanes for Brandon,” Berkmar coach Greg Phillips said. “That's what we’ve done all year long."
As the region’s top seed for the state tournament, Berkmar will host Roswell in the first round next week. Archer (13-16), which upset South Gwinnett in the first round of the region tournament, will face West Forsyth next week.
It was another tough defensive performance by the Patriots in the tournament. They held Central Gwinnett to 41 points in the semifinals on Friday.
"Our saying is ‘Pride in 45,’ meaning holding opponents to 45 points or less," Phillips said.
Tim Rowe added 11 points for Berkmar.
Dinesh Brown and Bryan Hamlet each had 16 points to lead Archer. Hamlet had 14 of his points in the second half.
"I just wish we had a little more time on the clock," Archer coach Tim Watkins said. "We hung in there and battled all the way to the end."
In the boys third-place game, Brookwood, which had built a 10-1 first period lead, withstood a furious Central comeback and held on for a 52-44 victory.
Central's Simeon Dennis made a dunk shot to tie the game at 31-31 just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter. But Brookwood went on a 21-13 run to close out the game. Brookwood was led by Malcolm Hannah with 16 points. Thomas Higginbotham had 12. Dennis led Central with 13 points.