Still, it was a good tournament for the Hounds, who not only qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in a decade but also earned the right to host a first round game as a second seed on Wednesday against Region 3-AAAAA third seed Richmond Hill. The game time will be announced later.
"Obviously we wanted this one. It was one of our goals for the season, to win region," a disappointed coach Dennis Woolfolk said after Saturday's loss. "But we got a couple of more goals, so we'll go back to work Monday and get ready for Wednesday."
Senior center Jarquez Smith got into early foul trouble and had to sit out most of the second quarter, which allowed Northside to turn a two-point lead into a 22-point advantage by halftime. The Eagles led by as many as 25 early in the third quarter and were still up by 20 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining before Jones County began to close the gap.
The Greyhounds cut Northside's lead to eight twice down the stretch but the Eagles managed to pull back ahead by double digits until Jones County scored the final five points to draw within six at the end.
"We didn't give the effort we needed to win tonight, and we let some questionable calls get us out of synch. We've faced that before and I've told the guys we've got to play through the distractions, but we didn't do that," Woolfolk said. "We got into that big hole in the first half, and it is hard to come back against a team as good as Northside. Even when we started making our run, they were still able to hit some big 3-pointers to hold us off."
Brandon Wimberly led the Hounds with 17 points and Smith added 16. Justin Burnam scored 19 and Jarvis Smith added 18 for the Eagles.
The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Hounds, who enter the state playoffs with a 17-10 record. Richmond Hill is 11-16 after edging Windsor Forest 50-49 in overtime in a Region 3-AAAAA consolation game Saturday.
Warner Robins won the girls' championship game with a 70-59 overtime victory over Evans on Saturday. In the consolation games, the Northside girls beat Houston County 55-49, and the Evans boys whipped Warner Robins 80-63.
JONES COUNTY (70): Tyric Solomon 1, Wimberly 17, Collier 10, Middlebrooks 9, Smith 16, Stephens 11, West 6.
NORTHSIDE-WR (76): Clark 6, Levine 4, Dennis 6, Davis 11, Burnam 19, Smith 18, Johnson 4, Kennedy 8.
Halftime: Northside, 45-23.
3-pointers: Jones County 7 (Wimberly 4, Middlebrooks 1, Smith 2); Northside 7 (Clark 1, Burnam 2, Smith 4).