R3 #1 Westlake 44, R8 #1 Shiloh 43: No. 6 Shiloh was able to control the tempo and play a grinding defensive game, but in the end No. 2 Westlake found a way to hold on. Jamie Lewis scored 13 points and added three assists in the defensive battle to lead the Lions. Chuma Okeke didn’t have his usual offensive output, but still contributed seven points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Shiloh received 13 points from Dejon Waters and a big game from TJ Massenburg defensively posting four points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
R2 #1 Newton 71, R8 #4 Grayson 52: It was Coach Rasmussen’s Rams that ended Cinderella Grayson’s run in the Elite Eight. As they have all year long, No. 8 Newton’s trio of guards powered the Rams into the Final Four. JD Notae poured in 23 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Ashton Hagans filled the stat sheet with 16 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals. The third musketeer, senior Jaquan Simms, put up 15 points. Josh Tukes finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Coach Geoffrey Pierce’s dynamic duo of seniors Alphonso Willis and Austin Dukes finished with 24 and nine points respectively.
R8 #1 Cedar Shoals 66, R6 #3 Mays 45: The Jaguars dispatched of Mays with ease on their way to the Final Four where they will meet undefeated No. 2 Allatoona. No. 4 Cedar Shoals road another devastatingly balanced attack paced by Phlan Fleming’s 16 points. Jerrick Mitchell added 12 from his point guard position. Chris Gresham and Greg Smith scored nine and eight points respectively.
R5 #1 Allatoona 56, R6 #2 Southwest DeKalb 44: They say defense wins championships. Or at least undefeated No. 2 Allatoona hopes they do as the Buccaneers moved their record to a perfect 30-0 with another dazzling defensive performance. Trey Doomes and Ephraim Tshimanga were the catalysts and added to their resume of being possibly the state’s most underrated backcourt tandem. Doomes finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Tshimanga, not to be outdone, flirted with a quadruple-double tallying eight points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and eight steals. Kevin Perry netted 10 points and garnered two steals of his own. Dylon Ramsey added on nine points, four rebounds and three steals. Southwest DeKalb held a 10-6 lead after the first period before Allatoona clamped down and hit some shots. In the loss Keith Gilmore scored 22 points and TiQuan Lewis 13 in their final games. No. 2 Allatoona meets No. 4 Cedar Shoals in a star-studded matchup in which both teams preach balance over singular play.
R3 #1 Liberty County 71, R1 #3 Monroe 61: Once again No. 2 Liberty County proved that they are not anything to mess with. Auburn-commit Davion Mitchell went off for 29 points in addition to Richard LeCounte’s 18. Third-option Will Richardson netted 12 to balance the Panthers’ offense. Emeshaun Offord scored 24 in his final game. K’Naurtica George chipped in 16 and Napoleon Harris finished with 12.
R6 #2 Lithonia 55, R5 #1 Sandy Creek 53: No. 4 Lithonia survived a last second shot attempt to hold off No. 10 Sandy Creek in a very evenly matched game. Jacara Cross played well inside with 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. UTC signee Rodney Chatman finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists. Tyheem Freeman went for a team-high 16 points while Tyleen Patterson chipped in seven points and eight rebounds. Lithonia will now meet No. 2 Liberty County in the Final Four.
R4 #3 South Atlanta 92, R2 #1 Central-Macon 79: No. 6 South Atlanta (25-6) had the task of slowing down red-hot No. 4 Central-Macon (27-3), who entered as winners of 20-straight out of Region 2. Led by senior Derrick Evans Jr. and juniors Anterious McCoy and Kentrevious Jones, the Chargers had been rolling for months. South Atlanta tripped up in the Region 4 tournament and fell to the three-seed, but that didn’t mean much as the Hornets stung Central-Macon for a 92-79 win, advancing to the Final Four for the first time since 2013. South Atlanta jumped out to a 10-4 lead with 5:49 remaining in the first quarter before taking a 21-19 lead into the second quarter of the track meet. The Chargers went on an 8-0 run to knot the game at 23, but a quick 7-0 answer from Coach Michael Reddick’s team answered the bell and put the Hornets back in front 30-23. The Chargers struggled to contain the explosive offense of South Atlanta that began draining nearly every shot they threw up, led by Devonta Pullins who scored a team-high 20 on the night. At the half, it was the Hornets with a 43-30 lead. The bright spot for Central-Macon came in the form of 6-foot-11, 280-pound junior Kentrevious Jones. The big man posted a 16-point 12-rebound double-double in the first half, but sloppy play and an inability to get stops on defense neutralized his overall effect. Jones dealt with foul trouble in the second half but still finished with 23 points and 20 rebounds. South Atlanta took advantage while Jones had to sit on the bench and play careful with his foul count. The Hornets began to push the lead out, taking a 53-37 edge with just over five minutes to play and a 66-43 lead before settling with a 70-51 mark heading into the fourth quarter. To begin the final frame, the Chargers started to show signs of life led by their senior captain Evans. The guard ripped off 7-straight points to make it 70-58 with six minutes left. Central closed to 77-67 while Evans led a late rally, finishing with 23 points, six rebounds and four assists, but in the end the Hornets were able to seal the game from the line as Devontae Dean sank 7-of-8 free throws during a stretch in the fourth to move onto Saturday’s semifinals. McCoy finished with 22 points and eight rebounds but the injury to Rakwon Iverson proved costly. Iverson entered averaging 14 points per game and was the team’s best on-ball defender. He hurt his knee in the first quarter and was never 100% the rest of the way.
R8 #1 Morgan County 55, R3 #1 Laney 50: No. 1 Morgan County took the rubber match with No. 3 Laney after the Wildcats rallied to win Round 1, 65-64 and later losing to the Bulldogs 65-63. Not only did Morgan County take the series deciding third game, they also swept the Wildcats as the girls team took care of business as well 62-53. The Bulldogs’ size caused problems for the smaller Wildcats. Florida Atlantic signee Jailyn Ingram pumped in a game-high 24 points while teammate and fellow FAU signee DeVorious Brown added 12. Laney led 27-26 at the half but the Bulldogs quickly ate away at their lead. Morgan County took a 39-34 advantage into the fourth quarter and were able to hold on. College of Charleston signee Zep Jasper scored 17 in his final game, but leading scorer and Charleston Southern signee Christian Keeling, who averages over 23 points per game, was held to just five on the night. No. 1 Morgan County will see No. 6 South Atlanta in the Final Four.
R5 #1 Manchester 70, R6 #2 Lovett 56: No. 6 Lovett led after one 18-13, but the tables quickly turned as No. 10 Manchester used a 21-6 second quarter to gain all the separation they needed to advance to the Final Four. Demarcus Addie exploded for 30 points to lead the Blue Devils. Backcourt mate Jah’Nile Hill netted 13. Henry Richardson and Ryan Greer both scored 15 points in the loss for Lovett. Manchester now takes on Monticello for a trip to Macon.
R4 #2 Monticello 79, R3 #1 Dublin 67: Monticello held down the state’s highest scoring team to nearly 20 points below their average to punch a ticket to the Final Four. CJ Adams and Dee Glover had monster double-doubles for Coach BJ Thomas. Adams finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds while Glover posted 18 points and 16 boards. Ashton Bonner added 19 points and Jordan Stone collected his own double-double with 14 points and 11 assists.
#1 Greenforest 78, #9 Tattnall Square 48: No. 1 Greenforest continued its world tour of dominance, this time ending No. 9 Tattnall Square’s season without breaking a sweat. Justin Forrest busted out for 26 points and six assists to lead the Eagles. Abayomi Iyiola posted 14 points and seven boards while John Ogwuche added 13 points and four assists. Ikey Obiagu swatted seven shots and Precious Ayah, a Miami (OH) commit, chipped in six points and 10 rebounds. Calvin Slaughter scored 12 points to pace the Trojans. Jimmy Marshall and Aubrien Kemp both netted 11.
#4 Stratford Academy 67, #5 North Cobb Christian 57: No. 3 North Cobb Christian’s Demiere Brown popped in three straight buckets to jump the Eagles out to a 15-2 lead over No. 5 Stratford, but slowly and steadily Coach Jamie Dickey’s group from Macon marched back into the game. Stratford still trailed 33-28 at the half before James Mitchell hit back-to-back threes after starting out ice cold in the first quarter, to give the Eagles their first lead of the game 34-33 with 5:14 to play in the third. O’Showen Williams canned a three at the buzzer to take a 48-41 lead into the fourth quarter giving Stratford all the momentum and they would hold on, advancing to play No. 1 Greenforest in the Final Four. Williams scored a team-high 27 while Wisconsin football signee Quintez Cephus added nine points and 13 rebounds. Mitchell finished with 16 points and helped spark the Eagles to a team effort of 11 three-pointers. Brown led North Cobb Christian with 31 points. Will Crumly ended his night with 11 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks while brother Jonny grabbed 14 rebounds.
#1 Treutlen 62, #8 Hawkinsville 55: Hawkinsville controlled the tempo for much of the game before the floodgates opened and No. 3 Treutlen began to run wild, taking their first lead since the first quarter early into the fourth on a Titus Benjamin hoop. Benjamin, Elijah Johnson and big man T.K. McLendon all made just enough plays down the stretch to get past the Red Devils. For Hawkinsville, brothers Desmond and Javon Singletary played well. CJ Smith hit some shots also. Curtis Holmes fouled out.
#5 Wilkinson County 76, #13 Lincoln County 39: No. 1 Wilkinson County proved it was much better than its five-seed as they destroyed No. 10 Lincoln County, ending the upstart Red Devils’ best season in decades. The Warriors’ size in the paint was too much for Lincoln County, blocking 20 shots. Zach Crite was denied the ball, disrupting Coach Wesley Wuchte’s offense. The Red Devils jumped out to a 9-4 lead but after that it was all WilCo, the 7-time state champs. Aaron Geter III scored a game-high 12 points for Wilkinson. Clarence Jackson (10), Jonathan Baehre (9) and Tylan Grable (8) all chipped in. Ahmad Rand finished his junior season with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in the loss. Crite added seven and Devon Holloway pitched in eight points.