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BY TIM HICKS
The Brunswick Community College men’s basketball season ended Friday in a 67-66 loss to Clinton in a semifinal of the Region 10 championship tournament at Voorhees College.
BCC had beaten Clinton 79-72 on Feb. 5 and 86-79 on Feb. 13.
Clinton, seeded last and with an 8-18 record entering the tourney, built a lead against BCC with an energetic running game and more shooting attempts from the paint instead of under the basket.
By the end of the first half, the Golden Bears led 36-29 and held off BCC by one point in the second half for the victory.
BCC ends the season 20-12. BCC won the tourney last year by beating Clinton and qualified for the first time for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. BCC lost its first two games in the double-elimination tourney.
BCC also won the Region 10 tournament in 2005. The Dolphins were regular-season conference champions in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
The Dolphins advanced to the second round of the 2011 Region 10 tournament by beating host Denmark Tech 87-76 March 3.
Denmark Tech had beaten BCC earlier this season, but in tournament play, the trick would not be repeated. By the end of the first half, the Panthers trailed 43-39. The deficit widened in the second half. Halfway through the half, the Dolphins led 62-54.
The Panthers, seeded No. 6 in the seven-team tourney, rallied late in the half and cut the lead to 78-76. But BCC clinched the victory by scoring five points in the last 40 seconds.
The BCC Lady Dolphins lost their first-round game Friday 68-58 to Catawba Valley Community College in the Region 10 championship tournament at Lenoir Community College.
Entering the tourney, BCC was 1-2 this year against Catawba. BCC lost 87-54 on Dec. 11 at Catawba but won 62-56 on Jan. 23. The Lady Dolphins lost 65-59 to Catawba on Feb. 11.
BCC finished 12-19, the best record in the history of the program.