Greenville, SC- The stage was set for a backyard brawl between the J.L. Mann Patriots and Southside Tigers on Tuesday night.
Last season Southside won the AA state championship but graduated 8 seniors which means a lot of new faces for Southside coach B.J. Jackson's squad this season.
The J.L. Mann Patriots made it to the AAA Upper State Championship game last season before falling to Greer but returned their core group of standouts in 2010 SF Brandon Boggs, 2010 PG Devon Myrick, 2011 PG David Brown, 2011 SF Darrice Whitley, and 2011 SG Damien Leonard. The Patriots paid the Tigers a visit and the outcome wasn't the one many folks in the building were expecting.
The Patriots flexed the muscles in the early going behind the play of Brandon Boggs. The Western Carolina signee got the crowd going early with a breakaway dunk and a few spin moves leading to some crowd pleasing buckets. Teammate Damien Leonard got in on the action as well raining some 3-pointers from deep.
Southside however kept to their plan and they stayed within striking distance of the Patriots behind some stellar shooting from Braylon Lloyd and Jokoye Pinsonto end the first half down 35-29.
After halftime the Tigers started to make their move behind more timely baskets from their wing players. Before long the J.L. Mann lead was down to three points and Southside head coach B.J. Jackson was liking what he saw out of his team.
Down the stretch the teams had the lead and Southside capitalized on some Patriot misses and put themselves in an opportunity to pull off the upset. Buddaman Barksdale came through in the clutch during the fourth quarter and tipped in at least 2 or 3 baskets to help the Tigers stay out front when the final buzzer sounded.
Lloyd had 20 points for the Tigers while Jokoye Pinson added 19 points for the 3-0 Tigers.
Damien Leonard powered the Patriots with 19 points while Devon Myrick added 14 points as the Patriots record moved to 2-2 on the young season.
SCPrepNation.com videotaped the entire game and we will be editing and posting highlights from the marquee matchup later today so stay tuned for more of the best coverage regarding the state's top basketball teams and prospects right here!