While the Tarheel legislators held their own until the end, the South Carolina General Assembly team took the coveted basketball trophy.
The Palmetto State won 66-63 Tuesday night on their home court in Columbia.
The legislatures of the neighboring states have held a biennial basketball game dating back to 1979. North Carolina holds the victory record with 10 wins, but South Carolina just bumped its record to 7.
It didn’t look good for South Carolina at first. North Carolina started out like the 2015 NCAA National Championship banner was hanging in their legislative chamber instead of Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, and the first half ended with South Carolina trailing 26 to 33.
“Clearly they wanted it a little more than we did,” S.C. team captain Sen. Ronnie Sabb said. “When they took the court they were just ready.”
The second half, however, was a different story. South Carolina rallied, and sent the Tarheels home with a loss.
“Fortunately we were able to get a rhythm and get a couple shots to fall for us,” Sabb said.
N.C. team captain Rep. Bryan Holloway said his team started strong, but just couldn’t finish.
“Overall, I think our players played well, and we had a good time. That’s what is important,” he said.
North Carolina did walk away with bragging rights for its legislative staff and lobbyist team, which beat its South Carolina counterparts 71-56.
N.C. staff team captain Jason Soper, policy adviser to House Speaker Tim Moore, said his team played really hard.
“We had a great group of guys who worked together. It really was a team effort at the end of the day,” Soper said. “We had a great time, and it’s always good to win.”