Barons hold off feisty Eagles, maintain GACC lead

Brewton-Parker College maintained its half-game lead in the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference standings Thursday night but had to hold off a tenacious Reinhardt College squad to complete its 87-86 victory at the Student Activities Center.

Reinhardt, which knocked nationally ranked Southern Polytechnic State University out of a tie for first with a road win Tuesday night, was a free throw away from forcing overtime against the Barons after rallying from a 13-point deficit with 10:48 left in the game and an 85-80 score with 45 seconds remaining.

Senior guard Sam Allen's 3-pointer with 20.4 seconds left pulled the visiting Eagles to within one at 86-85, and following senior guard Josh Stuart's one free throw the Barons (18-10 overall, 11-3 GACC) led by two with 18.8 ticks remaining.

Reinhardt junior center Deandre Cowan drew a foul off a rebound with 2.1 seconds left and made the first free throw but missed the second following a Barons time-out.

Brewton-Parker sophomore guard Toms Lokmanis tried to make a clearing pass while going out of bounds with the rebound, but Eagle senior guard Mike Carson got off a one-handed shot that missed but nearly added the Barons to Reinhardt's list of upset victims.

Reinhardt likely will be a No. 5 or 6 seed in the GACC postseason tournament March 12-15 at the Student Activities Center but is proving a formidable foe with two wins over No. 16 ranked Southern Poly and one over No. 12 Faulkner University (Ala.).

"They're pretty good. They're going to upset somebody," Brewton-Parker coach Steve Barker said of the Eagles. "At the end, they had a lineup of 6-4 and 6-5 guys," a definite size advantage over the guard-heavy Barons.

Senior guard Derrick Hairston led the Barons with a game-high 21 points, making 6 of 11 shots and 7 of 8 free throws, and he had five assists.

"I told Derrick before the game that he is a senior with five games to play and I needed him to step up his game, and he did," Barker said.

Senior guard Gabe Bubon followed Hairston with 19 points, including 5-for-9 from 3-point land, and junior post Hector Solano had his third double-double of the year with 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Lokmanis added nine rebounds.

"Toms was solid, Gabe played big and Hector was huge," Barker added.

Cowan led four Eagles in double figures with 20 points and had a game-high 12 rebounds.

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Brewton-Parker College junior post Hector Solano (No. 21) shoots the ball over Reinhardt College junior forward Gathan White on his way to scoring 21 points in the Barons'87-86 victory Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Student Activities Center in Mount Vernon. (Photo by Charles Conkin)