TUSCALOOSA — The Bevill State Bears are just two games away from an ACCC championship.
After a hotly-contested 64-56 victory over the Chattahoochee Valley Pirates in Wednesday’s quarterfinal ACCC Tournament game, Bevill State advanced to the semifinal round — a first since the program was restarted in 2017.
Bevill State (18-10) will battle the Snead State Parsons today at 5 p.m. at Shelton State (19-11) in Tuscaloosa.
Along with the win, several Bears received post-season honors prior to the game.
Sophomores Nelson Haskin and Latrell Tate were named to both the ACCC All-Conference and the All-North Division Teams. Head coach Tommy Suitts was named the North Division’s Coach of the Year.
Tate also received the dual honors of being named the Conference and the North Division’s Player of the Year.
Against the Pirates, Tate led Bevill with 27 points and collected five rebounds. Martez Brown had 11 points with seven rebounds and three blocks. Haskin scored eight points with nine rebounds and two steals and Walter Garfield had nine points and two steals.
Bevill State led throughout most of the first half until an offensive surge by Chattahoochee Valley finally allowed the Pirates to capture their first lead of the game with four minutes left in the period, 22-21.
Chattahoochee Valley closed on a 6-2 run to take a 28-23 advantage into halftime.
“We got out to a 10-3 lead and I think our guys relaxed a little bit and quit doing what got us here, which is running up and down the floor. As a result, we end up with a game that’s (in the 20s) at halftime,” Suitts said. “At halftime I said let’s do what we do and I named three of four things. We scored 40 points in the second half, which is more like we normally do."
The second half saw the intensity increase, with the lead changing seven times beginning with Bevill State assuming control, 43-41, with 9:08 left in regulation.
With 7:38 on the clock, Chattahoochee Valley grabbed the lead for the final time in the game, 48-47.
A three-point basket by Tate with 4:48 left in the contest gave Bevill State the critical edge it would hold for the win.
With Tate, Javontay Rollings and Brown combining for a perfect 11 for 11 at the free-throw line during the remaining two minutes in regulation, the Bears held on for the 64-56 win.
Snead State advanced to today's semifinals with a 73-69 overtime win over Wallace State-Selma.
The Bears won both regular-season matchups with the Parsons, 63-60 at home and 65-63 in Boaz.