LAKELAND, FL (WJHG/WECP) The Blountstown Tigers will play Tuesday for the 1A boys state basketball championship, thanks to a 57-40 win over rival Chipley Monday in Lakeland.
Those two teams each won their first two playoff games in February, setting up a showdown in the 1A state semifinal game Monday.
Both came out a bit tentative in the first quarter, each putting up just ten points. The Tigers of Blountstown though got the best of the second quarter, a 14-7 advantage in that period, putting them up at the half by 7, 24-17.
The third quarter with be the difference, with Blountstown rattling off a 19-7 run in that period, and giving them a 19 point bulge going into the final quarter.
Chipley did manage to outscore Blountstown in the final frame, but just 16-14, giving coach Brent Zessin and his Tigers the 17 point win, and putting them in the championship game Tuesday at 2 eastern against Wildwood.
Kevon Godwin led the way for the Tigers with 25, Jamal Howard added 11 in the semifinal win.Kelvin Dean led Chipley with 20 in the losing effort.
"I'm just blessed to be with some guys that are focused, play hard, our motto's play hard. And we also adopted the motto great teammates make great teams." Blountstown head coach Brent Zessin told us after the game.
His star player credits this title game berth to hard work, and the right attitude. "During the summer," says KK Godwin "we already had our minds set that we wanted to come. So I told my team I wasn't going to be satisfied unless we actually made it here. And every game I just tell them to play hard, play defense and the offense will come."
Their defense is going up against a 22-7 Wildwood team that beat Madison County in the other Monday semifinal.
"Truthfully none of us know anything about them." coach Zessin says. "We are just going to do our thing. We're just going to try to play defense, and take what team gives us, and play hard and the good Lord will bless us either way. It's been a great ride."