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Elite Eight Day 1 Recaps

Class AAAAAA

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.

Class AAAAA

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.

Class AAAA

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.

Class AAA

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.

Class AA

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.

Class A-Private

 #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.

Class A-Public

#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.

Boys Sweet 16 Recaps

AAAAAA

R8 #4 Grayson 60, R1 #2 Lee County 58: Austin Dukes did it again, this time hitting the game-winner with 1.1 seconds left to rally the Rams into the Elite Eight. Dukes finished with 22 points, five rebounds and six steals. Alphonso Willis added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Tre Sconiers posted a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double. Grayson meets another set of Rams, No. 8 Newton, at West Georgia.

 R2 #1 Newton 63, R7 #3 Peachtree Ridge 61: The No. 8 Rams survived at home thanks to JD Notae’s 27 points and four steals. Jaquan Simms finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Josh Tukes contributed 10 points and six rebounds. Ashton Hagans racked up nine assists to go with his six points. Newton draws Grayson at West Georgia in the Elite Eight.

R3 #3 Campbell 70, R6 #1 Lambert 65: Lambert cut the deficit to 65-63 with just over a minute left, but the Spartans beat the Longhorns’ full-court press and held on for the narrow five-point victory. Campbell held a 51-48 lead at the end of the third quarter after trailing 32-30 at the half. Laz Walker came up huge in the second half and scored 18 of his team-high 20 points. Mike Olmert finished with 18 points and eight assists and Jovahn Dunham and Randy McClure each scored 10 points. McClure also added eight rebounds in the victory.

R3 #1 Westlake 61, R7 #2 Norcross 50: Two top five teams met in the second round with No. 2 Westlake prevailing over No. 3 Norcross. Chuma Okeke went for 17 points and 12 rebounds while Jamie Lewis scored 17 of his own. Ronald Bell chipped in 11 and Raquan Wilkins had nine. Norcross received 19 points and five steals from freshman Kyle Sturdivant. Lance Thomas had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in the loss.

R5 #2 Milton 56, R1 #1 Tift County 54: No. 4 Tift County fell in a wild affair to Milton, a team looking like it is finally hitting its stride at the right time.  Milton rallied from down eight at the half, using a high-tempo attack to catch the Blue Devils off guard. Justin Brown hit a three with three seconds left and Alex O’Connell came away with a steal to ice it. Brown finished with nine points while O’Connell netted 15 and grabbed six boards. Kendrick Summerour scored 11 points. Big men Chris Lewis and Kyrin Galloway battled inside with Lewis coming away with eight points, 12 rebounds, four assists and five blocks while Galloway posted seven points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

AAAAA

R4 #1 McIntosh 87, R8 #2 Gainesville 84: Chase Walter threw down an And-1 dunk with 1.1 seconds left to stun Gainesville and advance to the Elite Eight. On the inbound, Walter slammed it home, but it looked as if the scorekeepers ticked off an extra second or two, leaving the Red Elephants with just 1.1 seconds left. A last second heave fell short. No. 3 McIntosh trailed for most of the game until the fourth quarter where the senior leadership of Jordan Lyons, Will Washington, Dishon Lowery shone through. Lyons finished with 24 points while Washington netted 31. D’Marcus Simonds’ illustrious career ended with a 34 point effort.

R6 #1 Miller Grove 64,  R2 #2 Richmond Academy 57: It wasn’t easy, but somehow No. 1 Miller Grove found a way to sneak past a ferocious Musketeer team out of Augusta. Trailing for most of the night, the Wolverines looked to Alterique Gilbert and Aaron Augustin to finally get them over the hump. Gilbert finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals while Augustin went for 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. Raylon Richardson was a game-changer inside with eight points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks. The Wolverines draw No. 8 South Paulding in the Elite Eight.

R6 #2 Southwest DeKalb 65, R2 #1 Warner Robins 60: Southwest DeKalb proved they are still a force to be reckoned with even after slipping from the latest top ten poll after a blow out loss to No. 1 Miller Grove in the Region 6 championship. Darius Hogan scored 17 points to pace four Panthers in double figures in their win over No. 7 Warner Robins. Mandarius Dickerson netted 16, Keith Gilmore scored 15 and Nathaniel Ambersley added 13 in the win.  The Panthers meet undefeated No. 2 Allatoona at Columbus State University.

R5 #1 Allatoona 52, R4 #3 Morrow 41: The No. 2 Bucs moved onto the Elite Eight behind Kevin Perry’s 21-point effort. He also collected three steals and four rebounds. Ephraim Tshimanga finished with 15 points, four rebounds and five steals. Trey Doomes used a balanced night with eight points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

R5 #2 South Paulding 62, R1 #1 LaGrange 60:  Kane Williams poured in 33 points, seven rebounds and four assists to move the Spartans to the Elite Eight where they will face No. 1 Miller Grove. Anthony Brown had nine points and 16 rebounds in the win.

R8 #1 Cedar Shoals 71, R4 #2 Mundy’s Mill 52: No. 4 Cedar Shoals led 38-27 at the half and increased the lead to 57-42 entering the final quarter. Phlandrous Fleming led Cedar Shoals with 16 points and six rebounds, but the Jaguars were supported by a wealth of contributors. Snipe Hall netted 14 points and Stavion Stevenson hit double-figures with 12 points to go with his seven rebounds. Jerrick Mitchell added eight points and seven assists and Chris Gresham turned in seven points and six rebounds.

AAAA

R6 #4 St. Pius 56, R3 #2 Thomson 55: It was an unbelievable game with a deafening crowd. After a back and forth first half, No. 8 St. Pius walked into the locker room with a 1-point lead (25-24) at halftime. Carson Seramur got hot from three in the third quarter and Pius made a run to take a 12-point lead midway through the third quarter, 43-31. However, Thomson closed the gap to six at the end of the third, 46-40 in favor of the Golden Lions to start the fourth. To open the final frame Thomson hit a three and got a steal and layup to cut Pius’ lead to 46-45 and the crowd went crazy. The game went back and forth the rest of the way and with 1:30 left after a Kerney Lane missed free throw, Thomson had the ball tied 55-55. Thomson tried to hold for one shot but Pius’ pressure forced a Thomson turnover. With 21.8 seconds left the Golden Lions got the ball and freshman Matt Gonzalo was fouled with six seconds left. The freshman calmly sank the first but missed the second. Thomson flew down the court and missed a 3 at the buzzer as time expired. Lane led St. Pius with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Seramur added 13 points. Gonzalo totaled seven assists in the win. The Golden Lions get a rematch with No. 1 Jonesboro in the Elite Eight, the two-time defending champs ended Pius’ season last year in the second round.

R4 #1 Jonesboro 51, R5 #3 Carrollton 50:  The rematch of last year’s state championship unfolded in a similar way: No. 1 Jonesboro finding a way to win. MJ Walker finished with 20 points and seven rebounds to help the Cardinals survive the Trojans on their quest to a three-peat. Tariq Jenkins had 14 points and four rebounds while Eric Lovett (8) and Zerrick Cooper (9) combined for 17. Carrollton received 19 points from Desmond Webb and 14 from Carson Culverhouse.

R6 #2 Lithonia 82, R3 #4 New Hampstead 61: No. 4 Lithonia moves onto the Elite Eight following a strong and balanced performance. Jacara Cross finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Rodney Chatman added seven points, eight rebounds, 10 assists, six steals and three blocks. Tylon Patterson posted 16 points and eight rebounds. Tyheem Freeman netted 14.

R5 #1 Sandy Creek 85, R1 #2 Bainbridge 71: Five players scored in double figures as No. 10 Sandy Creek blew past No. 9 Bainbridge. Elias Harden had 20 points and six rebounds while Christian Turner finished with 19 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Evan Jester (16), Javon Jackson (14) and Keith Heard (11) all contributed.

AAA

R2 #1 Central-Macon 69, R7 #3 Banks County 67: The No. 4 ranked Chargers rallied to win on a Derrick Evans buzzer beater, sending Central-Macon to the Elite Eight. Evans finished with seven points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Kentravious Jones posted a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Anterious McCoy exploded for 24 points and 10 rebounds. Rakwon Iverson added 17 points. Zac Steeple led the Leopards with 27, but was held to eight in the second half.

R6 #1 Calhoun 71, R3 #2 Westside-Macon 43: Host No. 3 Calhoun built a 54-37 lead at the end of the third quarter after outscoring Westside-Augusta 21-13 in the period.  Chapin Rierson was a force in the paint and led Calhoun with 28 points and 22 rebounds, while teammate Kaelan Riley added a double-double with 15 points and 16 boards.

R3 #2 Westside-Augusta 79, R7 #1 East Hall 59: After scoring just four points in the first half, Dekwan Lewis ignited for 19 points to lead the Patriots with a game-high 23 points. Damontrez Hawes carried the Patriots in the first half, where he netted 12 of his 16 points and helped Westside build a 32-21 halftime lead.

R8 #1 Morgan County 68, R4 #2 North Clayton 54: The No. 1 ranked Bulldogs rolled into the Elite Eight with an impressive win over a tough North Clayton team. Jailyn Ingram and Devorious Brown scored 19 and 14 points respectively. Alec Woodward finished with 18.  Morgan County now gets a rematch with No. 3 Laney, who they beat 65-63 earlier this year and last year, beat 68-62 in the semifinals ending Laney’s season.

R3 #1 Laney 91, R7 #2 Lumpkin County 45: Christian Keeling and Zep Jasper overwhelmed the overmatched Indians, ending Lumpkin County’s magical turnaround season. Keeling finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals while Jasper tagged on 17 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Tahj Tanskley and Dejuan Griffin both cracked double figures, scoring 14 and 10 respectively.

R1 #1 Jenkins 71, R8 #3 Jackson County 50: The dream season fell short as the Panthers lost to defending state champ, No. 5 Jenkins. Seniors Preston Giroux (17) and Joel Ellis (14) played admirably in their final games. The Panthers finish 18-12 after a 4-22 season last year. Jenkins moves on to face undefeated No. 2 Calhoun in the Elite Eight.

AA

R6 #2 Lovett 76, R2 #1 Long County 61: The Lions received 18 points from Henry Richardson to advance to the Elite Eight. Charles Nastopoulos chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds while Ryan Greer finished with 16 points and seven assists for No. 6 Lovett. Long County was led by Perrell Brisbane, Terry Smith and Eric Shaw, all of whom scored 14 points.

R6 #1 Pace Academy 69, R3 #3 Jefferson County 58: Pace Academy outscored Jefferson County 20-12 in the third quarter to grow its lead to 57-43. Wendell Carter led the Knights with his game-high 35 points and 20 rebounds. Zack Kaminsky and Tsaiah Kelly each finished with 14 points. Jefferson County was led by Tahkwon King’s team-high 28 points.

R6 #4 Holy Innocents’ 61, R3 #2 Swainsboro 58: After a controversial finish a year ago, the Golden Bears got their sweet revenge, downing the No. 9 Tigers. Jules Erving finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds while Brent Duncan went for 15 and seven. Cole Smith netted 18 in the win. Holy Innocents’ now meets No. 2 Crawford County in the Elite Eight.

A-Private

#4 Stratford Academy 87, #13 Walker 59: Nate Brooks battled with Harvard signee Robert Baker inside and finished with 23 points to help lift the Eagles to the second round of the state tournament. Quintez Cephus, a Wisconsin football signee, added 21 points. James Mitchell (12) and Tommy McCook (10) both finished in double digits for Coach Jamie Dickey.

#1 Greenforest 78, #16 First Presbyterian Day 40:  Justin Forrest scored 22 points and handed out five assists as No. 1 Greenforest advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. John Ogwuche, a New Hampshire signee netted 17 points and collected five assists. Precious Ayah had 14 points and Ikey Obiagu went for 12 points, nine rebounds and six blocks.

#5 North Cobb Christian 71, #12 Christian Heritage 50:  Demiere Brown led the Eagles to a first round playoff victory with 22 points and nine rebounds. Will Crumly posted 13 points and nine rebounds for No. 3 North Cobb Christian. Hunter Norman added 11 points and nine assists.

A-Public

#13 Lincoln County 87, #4 Randolph-Clay 79 OT: Down 11 with 1:57 left didn’t stop Lincoln County from winning its first state playoff game in nearly three decades. Ahmad Rand collected another triple-double with 24 points, 20 rebounds and 15 blocks. Rand hit a free throw with two seconds left to send the game to overtime. Zach Crite netted 29 to pace the Red Devils. Devon Holloway chipped in 14.

Girls Sweet 16 Recaps

Sandy’s Spiel/Craig Sager II/Brandon Michea

Class AAAAAA

R5 #1 Woodstock 52, R1 #2 Colquitt County 41: Making their fifth-straight state appearance, the No. 9 Woodstock Lady Wolverines climbed to new heights on Friday, controlling visiting Colquitt County from start to finish for a 52-41 victory in the 2nd round of the AAAAAA tournament. The win sends the Lady Wolverines into the state Elite Eight for the first time in program history.

An 11-point opening half by Kennedy Montgomery helped Woodstock lead 32-16 at the break. A brief third-quarter surge brought the Lady Packers to within 11, before WHS pushed back out in front by 18 in the fourth. Another Colquitt charge cut the deficit to 48-40 late, but WHS sealed its historic victory from the free throw line.

Montgomery finished with a game-high 18 points, followed by nine from Ashton Sutton and seven apiece from Erin Braxton and Brittany Burnett.

R6 #1 West Forsyth 70, R2 #2 Newton 33: Three days after Jenna Staiti led West Forsyth to the program’s first-ever playoff win, the University of Maryland signee added another 35-point outburst as the Wolverines advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in history. Staiti added 20 rebounds and seven blocks to her game-high points and teammate Jane Ortlip stepped up with 15 points, including three makes from beyond the arc. Twenty-three of Staiti’s points, 16 of the rebounds and five of the blocks came in the first half as West Forsyth piled on a 40-13 edge.

R5 #2 Cherokee 70, R4 #4 Hillgrove 52: The Lady Warriors (24-5) continued their magical run coming off a 15-13 season and a 2-24 mark in 2013-14. Lacie McCoy scored a game-high 21 points to propel Cherokee to the Elite 8. Kaleigh Karl netted 15 and Havyn Wilson added 11. Laiken Wade and Olivia Herrera both scored 8 points.

R2 #1 Tucker 72, R7 #3 Mountain View 54: No. 5 Tucker received 19 points and 7 rebounds from Bria Bass. Kierra Johnson-Graham had 22 pts and 13 rebounds.

Class AAAAA

R6 #2 Mays 84, R2 #1 Grovetown 72:  No. 9 Mays’ speedy point guard Kamiyah Street put on a clinic as she netted a game-high 47 points as the Raiders handed No. 4 Grovetown (28-2) just its second loss of the year. Mays jumped to a 38-29 halftime lead but Grovetown outscored Mays 15-11 in the third quarter to cut it to 59-54 before the Raiders closed out a 25-18 advantage in the final frame.

R7 #1 Sequoyah 47, R2 # Warner Robins 40: The Lady Chiefs advanced to the Elite Eight setting up a meeting with Region 8 No. 2-seed Loganville, who survived Dutchtown 43-40. Sequoyah had a difficult task at hand in the War Lodge as the No. 5 ranked Warner Robins Demonettes brought their 22-2 record to Hickory Flat. The plan was simple early on for Warner Robins: press the Chiefs. Little did they know that Coach Derrick Dewitt’s team wouldn’t be fazed after a sluggish start.

Both teams struggled to score early on. Kezia Holmes got the Demonettes on the board at the 4:07 mark before Lauren Hartman netted the Chiefs’ first basket with 2:42 remaining in the first. Coach Tracy Fendley’s press gave Sequoyah fits as they raced out to a 10-4 lead entering the second quarter with Holmes scoring eight of her team-high 15 in the frame.

The second quarter was a different story.

“I think the girls got comfortable to their pressure,” explained Coach Dewitt. “Warner Robins is very active, they can rebound and they’re a very fast team. We settled down, showed some poise, got them moving and attacked some gaps and finished on the offensive end when we needed to.”

Trailing 14-6, sophomore point guard Alyssa Cagle found fellow sophomore Peyton Satterfield for three and in the process got the Chief faithful on their feet. Minutes later Satterfield returned the favor and delivered an assist to Cagle who proceeded to drain a long ball making it 16-14 with 2:10 to play.

Sequoyah grabbed its first lead of the game on a Kelley Hartman turnaround at the buzzer, 17-16. That basket for the 6-foot senior was a momentum changer. It was her fifth point of the first half before she scored 13 of her game-high 18 in the final 16 minutes.

After Kelley Hartman tagged on six points in the third quarter, the Lady Chiefs maintained a 27-24 lead, her final basket coming on another buzzer beater.

The Demonettes would not go away. Le’Terria Mathis scored nine of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to claw Warner Robins back into the game after two Lauren Schletty transition buckets gave Sequoyah its largest lead of the game at 36-29 with 3:43 remaining in regulation.

Things got dicey 22 seconds later as Kelley Hartman committed her fourth foul with Sequoyah leading 36-31. Hartman fouled out at the 1:07 mark with Sequoyah in front 40-37, but with her she brought her 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks to the bench.

Warner Robins would draw within 40-38, but Sequoyah managed to get the stops it needed and Cagle went 6-of-7 from the line in the fourth to close out the game 47-40.

Surviving with Hartman on the bench was no easy task, but the Lady Chiefs were able to get it done. When she was on the floor, Kelley controlled the game from the paint.

“She is such a committed teammate and player that she’ll do whatever she can. I thought her poise was good she could have gotten upset at a couple of calls but she kept it together. Even when she fouled out, she told the next kid ‘hey go in there and finish this game’. She’s coaching from the sidelines with me. Her and Lauren Hartman are outstanding Sequoyah Chiefs.”

Class AAAA

R8 #2 Buford 59, R4 #1 Mt. Zion-Jonesboro 48: After taking a 34-18 lead into the half, No. 5 Buford was outscored 19-13 in the third quarter as the lead shrunk to 47-39. The Lady Bulldogs cut the deficit to 48-40 with 5:40 left, but Buford used a 9-4 run to pull away in the final minutes. No. 4 Mt. Zion was led by Tyeisha Juhan’s 25 points, while Tory Ozment led Buford with 19 points.

Class AAA

R7 #1 West Hall 60, R3 #2 Washington County 48: West Hall led 30-23 at the half and took a nine-point lead into the final quarter, where the Lady Spartans solidified a spot in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1999. West Hall’s Anna Mckendree led the way with 32 points and six rebounds, while teammate Macy Passmore chipped in with 23 points and six rebounds. Nia Johnson led Washington County with her team-high 23 points.

Class AA

R7 #1 Model 59, R3 #2 Dublin 27: Region 7 champion No. 3 Model jumped to a 33-12 halftime lead after outscoring Dublin 21-4 in the second quarter. The Blue Devils added a 20-5 scoring advantage in the third quarter to build a 49-21 lead. Sophomore Victaria Saxton finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks to lead undefeated Model (28-0).

R6 #2 Wesleyan 77, R2 #1 Vidalia 30: Eleven No. 2 Wesleyan players netted points, but it was Mikayla Coombs that led the way 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for a triple double. Coombs made four three pointers and shot 80 percent from the field. Teammate Jameson Kavel finished with 16 points and Amaya Register scored 10 with seven rebounds and five assists.

Boys State Tournament First Round Recaps

Class AAAAAA

R8 #4 Grayson 59, R5 #1 Wheeler 58: “As long as when we walked in we weren’t intimidated by their banners…just don’t get intimidated by what they’ve done in the past. Everybody is 0-0 now,” is what Coach Geoffrey Pierce told his Grayson Rams before heading into their first round meeting with No. 1 Wheeler, the defending state champs. His senior-laden group listened as the Rams stunned the home standing Wildcats 59-58 after senior Austin Dukes hit three free throws with 3.6 seconds left to win the game; the loss is Wheeler’s first in-state loss since the 2014 State Championship 710 days ago and first home loss since Feb. 7, 2013. Nick Edwards hadn’t played all game but the sophomore found Dukes on the perimeter for the open look. “I told Dukes just shoot it. Don’t try to pump fake or anything because they closed out pretty hard and fouled him on a jumper earlier.” Grayson had trailed 32-23 at the half and 44-35 at the end of three quarters, but remained in striking distance. Pierce noted that Wheeler hadn’t played many close games and if they kept it within arm’s length, they had a shot. His eyes lit up when he saw Wheeler in a man-to-man defense, meaning Dukes and fellow senior Alphonso Willis could create off the dribble. Dukes scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds while Willis finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds while being saddled with foul trouble. Dealing with the likes of Al-Wajid Aminu (North Florida) and Romello White (Georgia Tech) inside, the Rams were giving up size. Pierce knew heading into the game that controlling the glass would be important if they wanted to advance to the Sweet 16. “We worked in practice whenever a shot went up, we instructed them all to yell ‘shot’.” It worked out well as Brandon Uziewe and Hafeez Anifowoshe combined for 16 points and 11 rebounds battling the taller front line. With the win, Grayson now has sights set on a long road trip to Lee County. As pleased as the players and coaches are with tonight’s performance, Pierce reminded, “four more”.

R1 #1 Tift County 71, R4 #4 Hillgrove 47: Tyrie Jackson pumped in 18 points to help No. 4 Tift County put last year’s postseason failures in the rearview mirror. Micah Johnson added 15 and Iman Holley pitched in 12 points in the win. The Blue Devils host Milton in the Sweet 16.

R5 #2 Milton 92, R8 #3 Central Gwinnett 79: The Eagles jumped out to a 31-point lead but the Black Knights kept fighting back before falling by 13. Milton was just too big and too talented for the hard-nosed Knights. Alex O’Connell went for 28 points and 14 rebounds while Harvard signee Chris Lewis added 20 points, 15 rebounds and four assists. Kyrin Galloway posted 17 points and seven rebounds. Kendrick Summerour netted 13 points and dished out seven assists. Justin Brown tallied 10 assists on the night.

R6 #1 Lambert 70, R7 #4 Mill Creek 62: No. 9 Lambert held on at home against a tough Mill Creek team playing with nothing to lose. Connor Mannion scored 22 points in the win. Charles Botchway finished with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Evan Richardson scored 16 in the loss.

R7 #1 Collins Hill 62, R6 #4 Alpharetta 52: After leading 26-24 at the half, No. 10 Collins Hill found itself down 42-40 heading into the fourth quarter. But like they have all season long, in the end Coach Ty Baumgardner’s Eagles found a way to win. AJ Cheeseman scored a team-high 16 points and Kai Lambert netted 14 in the comeback. Kenny Stanciel scored 11. The Raiders were led by Carlos Carriere’s 18 points and David Swillum’s 14.

R3 #3 Campbell 71, R2 #2 Tucker 68 OT: Laz Walker poured in 26 points and grabbed six rebounds to escape Tucker. Mike Olmert finished with 14 points and seven assists while Jovahn Dunham went for 13 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. Randy McClure posted his own double-double with 10 & 10. Kenton Eskridge led the Tigers with 21 points including three free throws at the buzzer to force OT.

R2 #1 Newton 71, R3 #4 Douglas County 65: Jaquan Simms buried 18 points to help No. 8 Newton hold off Brandon Robinson and Douglas County. JD Notae scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while freshman Ashton Hagans finished with 15 points and eight assists. Josh Tukes chipped in nine points and seven rebounds. Robinson, a North Carolina signee, finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in his final game. Newton now meets Peachtree Ridge in the Sweet 16.

R8 #1 Shiloh 68, R5 #4 Woodstock 35: No. 6 Shiloh jumped to a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and increased the lead to 55-30 entering the final frame. Josh Okogie led Shiloh with 16 points, all of which came in the first three periods and teammate Malik Chandler finished with 14. Tyreke Johnson led Woodstock with 14 points.

R7 #3 Peachtree Ridge 66, R6 #2 Johns Creek 58: Markel McCollum scored 22 points and Milz Tatum added 16 to advance the Lions over the Gladiators. Peachtree Ridge travels to No. 8 Newton in the Sweet 16.

Class AAAAA

R6 #2 Southwest DeKalb 66, R7 #3 Kell 42: Keith Gilmore scored 19 points to pace four Panthers in double figures. Mandarius Dickerson and TiQuan Lewis both netted 11 points while Nathaniel Ambersley chipped in 10. The Panthers now visit No. 7 Warner Robins in round two out of Region 2.

R7 #1 Riverwood 75, R6 #4 Tri-Cities 58: Charnchai Chantha flirted with a triple-double as No. 5 Riverwood rolled to its 28th victory. Chantha finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Kohl Roberts posted a double-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. Elijah Jenkins added 12 points and five rebounds but it was senior Pryce Watkins, who came in averaging six points per game, that was the difference maker dropping 23.

R1 #1 LaGrange 81, R4 #4 Drew 60: LaPerion Perry (17), Rico Smith (16) and Alex Dantzler (13) over whelmed the Titans in the opening round of the state playoffs. No. 9 LaGrange now hosts No. 8 South Paulding in the Sweet 16.

R5 #1 Allatoona 61, R8 #4 Salem 49: No. 2 Allatoona remained unbeaten after grinding Salem to 49 points. Trey Doomes had an explosive night, scoring 22 points, grabbing seven rebounds, collecting five steals and dishing out six assists. Ephraim Tshimanga finished with 15 points, four rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Kevin Perry chipped in 13 points. The Bucs now host Morrow in the Sweet 16.

R6 #1 Miller Grove 101, R7 #4 Sprayberry 41: No. 1 Miller Grove cruised to a 48-20 halftime lead and outscored the visiting Yellow Jackets 18-13 in the third quarter before piling on a 25-7 advantage in the final frame. Tae Hardy and Aidan Saunders led the Wolverines with 20 points apiece while adding six and four steals, respectively. UConn signee and McDonalds All-American Alterique Gilbert added nine steals with 17 points and Aaron Augustin stuffed the stat sheet with five steals to go with his 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

R8 #1 Cedar Shoals 65, R5 #4 Hiram 48: No. 4 Cedar Shoals took a 43-33 lead at the end of the third quarter before piling on a 22-15 scoring advantage in the fourth. Jerrick Mitchell stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while teammates Stavion Stevenson (14) and Snipe Hall (11) also reached double-digits in the scoring column.

R5 #2 South Paulding 62, R8 #3 Heritage-Conyers 58: No. 8 South Paulding set a new school-record with 24 wins after surviving a dangerous Patriots team. Kane Williams finished with 14 points and 11 assists to lead the Spartans.

R4 #1 McIntosh 100, R1 #4 Carver-Columbus 69: Carver-Columbus jumped on No. 3 McIntosh out of the gates with a 10-0 run before the Chiefs countered to pinch a 21-17 lead at the end of the first period. McIntosh outscored Carver 21-14 in the second quarter to take a 42-31 halftime lead and entered the final quarter with a comfortable 70-48 advantage. Furman signee Jordan Lyons led McIntosh with 31 points. Wofford signee Dishon Lowery scored 18 and Isaac Kellum chipped in 14, while Daniel Melvin and Timothy James paced Carver with 14 points apiece.

R8 #2 Gainesville 68, R5 #3 Villa Rica 62: After a sluggish start outside of Georgia State signee D’Marcus Simonds, No. 6 Gainesville got the ball rolling and fended off an upset-minded Villa Rica team. Simonds scored 15 of Gainesville’s 21 first quarter points as the Red Elephants entered the second quarter knotted up. Simonds scored 25 of his game-high 33 in the first half. The Wildcats cut the lead to 61-58 with 2:01 left, but the Red Elephants were able to put the game away late from the line.

R2 #2 Richmond Academy 85, R3 #3 Effingham County 74:  No. 10 Effingham County’s season came to an abrupt end, losing to the Madison Williams-led Musketeers. The Illinois State signee poured in 32 points and Rashard Calloway added 14. Richmond Academy gets a chance to shock the world if they can knock off No. 1 Miller Grove, who beat Sprayberry 101-41 in the first round.

Class AAAA

R4 #1 Jonesboro 81, R1 #4 Worth County 47: The bigger Rams were no match for No. 1 Jonesboro. MJ Walker and Eric Lovett both scored 21 points while Tariq Jenkins pitched in 13. The Cardinals host Carrollton in round two, who comes off a 59-56 win over North Hall.

R6 #4 St. Pius 63, R7 #1 Cartersville 46: No. 8 St. Pius shook off a bad region tournament and took care of Cartersville in the opening round of state. The trek from DeKalb County to Bartow County didn’t hinder the Golden Lions led by Kerney Lane and Carson Seramur’s 20 points apiece. St. Pius now travels to Thomson in the Sweet 16. 

R6 #2 Lithonia 88, R7 #3 Northwest Whitfield 36: The trip to DeKalb County wasn’t a pleasant one for the Bruins from Tunnel Hill. Jacara Cross posted 17 points, nine rebounds and five blocks to power the No. 4 Bulldogs. UTC signee Rodney Chatman finished with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Tylon Patterson added 11 points while Tyheem Freeman scored 12. The Bruins received 14 points from Luke Shiflett and 10 from Paxton Pardee.

R1 #3 Monroe 71, Walnut Grove R4 #2 45: Monroe pounded No. 6 Walnut Grove into submission with a decisive victory. Emeshaun Offord drilled five three-pointers and finished with 22 points to advance the Tornadoes to the Sweet 16.

R5 #1 Sandy Creek 84, R8 #4 North Oconee 38: No. 10 Sandy Creek breezed past an overmatched Titans team. Elias Harden scored a game-high 22 points to power the Patriots. Javon Jackson finished with 15 points and six steals. Evan Jester posted a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double while Christian Turner grabbed seven rebounds and tallied eight assists.

R6 #1 Grady 78, R7 #4 Pickens 44: Christian Bryant collected a triple-double in the No. 3 Knights’ romp over the Dragons. Bryant finished with 10 points, 12 assists and 10 steals. Javier Russell went off for 29 points and five rebounds. Avi Toomer, a Bucknell signee, tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. DJ Brittian ended the night with 9 points and five steals while Tyron St. James chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds.

R3 #4 New Hampstead 82, R2 #1 Upson-Lee 66: No. 5 Upson-Lee’s 17-game win streak was shattered by New Hampstead in the opening round of the AAAA state tournament. Out of Savannah, the Phoenix road Oronte Anderson to 32 points, 10 over his season average of 22, into the Sweet 16. Sophomore Ty Fagan went for 27 in the loss. New Hampstead now travels to No. 4 Lithonia for its second round matchup.

R5 #4 Fayette County 69, R8 #1 Buford 62: The Tigers upset Buford with an impressive win, moving Fayette County to the Sweet 16. Jaylon Cheffin scored a team-high 24 points. Austin Nesmith collected a double-double with 13 points and 12 assists. Eric Williams chipped in 12 points and five rebounds while Noah Gurley scored 14 and blocked five shots.

R5 #2 Woodward Academy 53, R8 #3 Monroe Area 52: Leading 45-35 heading into the fourth quarter, the War Eagles had to cling on for a state playoff victory. Brennan McDaniel finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. Maxwell Chester added 15 points and five rebounds. Jacob Robertson scored 10 in the win. Woodward now travels to Westover in the Sweet 16.

Class AAA

R8 #3 Jackson County 75, R5 #2 Rockmart 52: It had been 51 long years since Jackson County had won a state playoff game, but with this record-breaking season at hand for Coach Chuck Butler, the Panthers continued to EAT. Jackson County held a lead early in the game but couldn’t push it out past 10 points. With a 34-28 lead at the half, Jackson County quickly saw it cut in half after a Rockmart three. Coach Butler sensing the game tightening up decided to put on a full court press and the rest was history for Rockmart as the Panthers blitzed past the Yellow Jackets. Seniors led the way for Jackson County. Joel Ellis scored a team-high 20 points, Preston Giroux added 15, Malique Wade netted 14 and Stephen Fogarty chipped in 10 while junior Christian Smith scored 13. Jackson County is now 18-11 after a 4-22 season a year ago. They will travel to defending champion No. 5 Jenkins in the second round.

R2 #1 Central-Macon 77, R3 #4 Josey 45: The electrifying Chargers ran their winning streak up to 19 games following a blowout of Josey. 6-foot-10 center Kentravious Jones finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Anterious McCoy scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed six rebounds. Rakwon Iverson netted 17 and Derrick Evans Jr. went for 12 points and five steals.

R8 #1 Morgan County 71, R5 #4 Pepperell 30:  Class AAA’s No. 1 ranked team looked the part picking up a 41-point first round victory. Florida Atlantic signees Jailyn Ingram (17) and Devorious Brown (10) combined for 27 points.  Jordan Ford added 14 and Emmanuel Little 10 in the rout.

R4 #2 North Clayton 73, R1 #3 Tattnall County 68:  Jamarcus Sanders scored a team-high 20 points and Ahsan Asadullah pitched in 17 to advance North Clayton to the Sweet 16. Kindle Vildor netted 13 in the win.


R4 #3 South Atlanta 63, R1 #2 Johnson-Savannah 57:
 In a game filled with lopsided scoring runs, No. 6 South Atlanta closed the game on a 12-5 run in the final two minutes. South Atlanta had what seemed like a comfortable 22-7 lead after the first quarter, but an 11-0 run sparked by Da’Monte Greene’s seven straight points chipped the Atomsmashers’ deficit to 26-18 at the half. South Atlanta grew the lead to 39-25 in the early in the third quarter, but a 14-0 run by Johnson tied it at 39-39 entering the fourth quarter. Johnson finally claimed the lead with just over two minutes left (52-51), but South Atlanta’s 12-5 run to close the game hushed the comeback. 

R6 #1 Calhoun 68, R7 #4 West Hall 39: No. 2 Calhoun remained perfect and ran its record up to 26-0 after dispatching of the Spartans. Kaelan Riley led the charge with 15 points and 13 rebounds while Chapin Rierson added 14 points. Jireh Wilson scored 16 points and hauled in nine boards. Ray Reeves netted 10 points. Malik Lawrence scored nine from his guard position. In the second round, Calhoun hosts R2 #2 Westside-Macon and five-star sophomore Khavon Moore. The Seminoles downed Butler 79-67 in round one.

R7 #1 East Hall 86, R6 #4 Ringgold 59: No. 10 East Hall rained down threes in Valhalla, sinking 12 in the first half and 18 in the game. Andy Lara led the Vikings with 16 points while Triston Cooper added 15. Luke Holtzclaw and Tylor Brown scored 12 and 11 respectively.

Class AA

R6 #2 Lovett 64, R7 #3 Coosa 49: For the first time, since their Final Four team of 2008, the No. 6 Lovett Lions are advancing past the first round of the State Tourney, as they defeated Coosa 64-49 at Lovett’s Wallace Gymnasium on Wednesday night. Lovett got off to a quick start and led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter, and held on to a 31-25 lead at the half, thanks to 10 first half points from Senior guard Ford Coleman, including 2 3-pointers. In the 3rd quarter, the Lions pushed the lead to double digits, and Coosa never got closer than 8 the rest of the way.  Lovett pushed the lead to 18 in the final minutes, before a 3-pointer at the buzzer cut the lead to 64-49 for the final score. Lovett had 9 players score, and were led by Senior Charles Nastopoulos, who had 18 points to go with his 9 rebounds  Ford Coleman added 13 points, on 3-4 from 3-point range.  Sophomore guard Crawford Schwieger came off the bench to add 12 points. The Lions leading scorers for the season, Senior Guard Henry Richardson, and Freshman Point Guard Ryan Greer were held to just 5 points and 4 points respectively, but the game showed just how deep and talented the Lions were, regardless of not getting huge point production from their main 2 scorers.  Greer did finish with 9 assists and 7 rebounds to go with his 4 points, and was instrumental all night in breaking the full court press from Coosa. Lovett hit 7 of 18 from 3-point range, and held Coosa’s leading scorer, Senior guard Xavier Bailey to just 11 points, as he was the only Coosa player in double figures. Coosa finishes the season 13-17. Lovett is now 21-6 on the season, and advances to the Sweet 16 and will travel to play Long County on Saturday.  Furthermore, all four Region 6-AA teams won, as Pace, Holy Innocents’, and Greater Atlanta Christian each advanced to the Sweet 16 as well.

R8 #3 Union County 56, R5 #2 Bowdon 51: Behind 21 points and eight rebounds from Crawford Colwell, the Panthers were able to hold off the Red Devils. Union County led 12-8 at the end of one while CJ Brewer scored all eight for Bowdon. The Panthers extended their lead to 23-18 at the half, but to open the third quarter it was the Red Devils coming out on an 11-0 run to take a 29-23 lead. Union County quickly regained its footing and took a 39-32 lead into the fourth quarter before holding on. Chase Shook scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win Lawson Baenniger chipped in 11 points. Bowdon was led by Brewer’s 23 points and 17 rebounds. Octavius Meadows finished with 21 points and nine rebounds.

R4 #1 Crawford County 95, R1 #4 Seminole County 64: The rematch of last year’s AA state title game turned out much different. No. 2 Crawford County hammered No. 7 Seminole County, who limped its way to the finish line. Will Jarrell posted 27 points and 10 rebounds while Marcal Knolton went for 23 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks inside. Monkeize Moore was the crucial third piece to the puzzle, adding 17 points. UGA signee Jordan Harris finished with 37 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in the final game of his historic Seminole County career.

R6 #1 Pace Academy 70, R7 #4 Darlington 48: Darlington took the host No. 3 Knights into the half with a 26-25 lead, but a 21-2 scoring advantage in favor of Pace Academy in the third quarter turned the tides as Darlington trailed 46-28 entering the final frame. Kyle Tackeberry led Darlington with 18 points. Pace Academy was led by Isaiah Kelly’s game-high 19 points, while teammate Wendall Carter Jr.’s netted 15.

R6 #4 Holy Innocents’ 54, R7 #1 Model 51: Cole Smith buried a 30-footer at the buzzer for his 10th point of the night, advancing the Golden Bears to the second round. Holy Innocents’, a trendy “upset” pick heading into the tournament, proved bracket connoisseurs correct. Brent Duncan was at full health posting 23 points and 10 rebounds. Matt Meadows added nine in the win.

Girls State Tournament First Round Recaps

Class 6A: R5 #1 Woodstock 55, R8 #4 Grayson 34
 
(Contributed by Brandon Michea)

Unphased by a quick start from upset-minded Grayson, the Woodstock Lady Wolverines used a late first-half surge to carry a six-point edge into the break, then erupted with a 12-0 run in the opening minutes of the third quarter en route to a 55-34 victory over the Lady Rams in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state tournament on Tuesday, in Woodstock.

Seniors Kennedy Montgomery and Ashton Sutton paced the Lady Wolverines with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while junior Brittany Burnett netted 12 points, including eight in the third quarter alone.

After falling behind 7-2 early, Woodstock climbed out in front 16-14 by the end of the opening stanza, as Montgomery and senior Chandler Sutton combined for nine first-quarter points. Midway through the second frame, Grayson pulled even at 18, only to watch the Region 5 champion Lady Wolverines push back out in front, 26-20, by the half.

In the third, it was all Woodstock (25-3), with a three-point play by Burnett, an inside bucket by junior Kameryn Forrester and a Bralise Reese steal and give-and-go with fellow junior Taylor Reed highlighting the 12-0 spurt that led to Grayson head coach Tony Watkins burning his fifth and final timeout with 3:09 remaining – in the third quarter.

Held scoreless for nearly a 7-minute stretch, Grayson (21-8) finally got on the board with a pair of Destiny Newkirk free throws at the2:58 mark of the third, then converted its only field goal of the quarter, thanks to senior Essence Jordan, 1:30 later, cutting the deficit to 38-24. Montgomery, however, responded with a 3 and Ashton Sutton laid in a 2 in the closing seconds of frame to give WHS a commanding 43-24 advantage heading into the fourth.

The Lady Rams, who were led by 10 points from Jordan, could not narrow the gap any closer than 16 over the final 8 minutes, as Woodstock, making its fifth-straight state appearance, advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third time over that span.

Complementing the Lady Wolverines’ double-digit scoring trio, Reese chipped in six points and Chandler Sutton had five.

Newkirk and fellow senior Jessica Ewing finished with six points apiece for Grayson.

Next up for Woodstock, which is seeking its first state quarterfinals berth in program history, is a date with Region 1 runner-up Colquitt County this weekend. The Lady Packers (18-10) knocked off North Cobb, 45-41, in the opening round.


 

Courtesy of Sandy’s Spiel and Craig Sager II

Class AAAAAA

R5 #2 Cherokee 53, R8 #3 Dacula 46: The Lady Warriors flexed their muscle against the bigger and more athletic Lady Falcons, scoring a seven-point win. Lacie McCoy led Cherokee with 15 points while Kaleigh Karl (12), Laiken Wade (11) and Havyn Wilson (9) all chipped in. Cherokee plays either Tift County or Hillgrove in round two.

R7 #3 Mountain View 46, R6 #2 Northview 41: The young Lady Titans fell behind by 17 points early but battled back to take a fourth quarter lead before falling to Mountain View. With only three seniors on the team, the future looks bright for Northview. Freshmen led the way once again for Coach Chris Yarbrough’s team as Maya Richards scored 18 points and Ashlee Austin added 12. Over the course of the year, Austin broke the school record for points scored for a freshman. Junior Shannon Titus is the third piece of the puzzle, setting school records for steals and blocks in a season before ending the season in the first round. Mountain View gets the winner of Tucker and Campbell, a Wednesday night affair.

R6 #1 West Forsyth 65, R7 #4 Mill Creek 51: Host West Forsyth jumped to a 42-24 halftime lead after outscoring Mill Creek 23-12 in the second quarter. Mill Creek answered with a 20-9 scoring advantage in the third quarter to make it 51-44, but a key three-pointer by Jane Ortlip stopped the scoring run and put West Forsyth up 56-47. This is Lady Wolverines’ the first playoff win in program history. University of Maryland signee Jenna Staiti dominated with a 35-point performance, while adding 12 rebounds and three blocks. West Forsyth teammate Brooke Pirkle added 10 points and dished out five of the team’s 19 assists.

Class AAAAA

R4 #1 Dutchtown 56, R1 #4 Harris County 43: Kamera Harris recorded 12 blocks through the first three quarters, including five in both the first and third quarters. Sophomore forward Jordan Maney netted 10 first half points to give Dutchtown a 35-23 lead. The Bulldogs were outscored 12-3 in the third quarter as Harris County cut the lead to 38-35, but they responded with a 18-8 advantage in the final frame.

R8 #1 Flowery Branch 58, R5 #4 Lithia Springs 50: First year head coach Courtney Newton received another balanced effort from her Lady Falcons. Taniyah Worth went for 19 points and eight rebounds while Julianne Sutton posted a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Maddie Hetzel chipped in eight points from her guard position while Kierra Knight added six points and six boards.

R8 #3 Gainesville 69, R5 #2 Hiram 66 OT: In a nip and tuck game, the Red Elephants managed to push Hiram to overtime before stealing the game in the extra period. Tied at 28 at halftime, in the fourth quarter the Lady Hornets began to make their move and push their lead to five six points, 51-45 with 3:10 remaining. Gainesville responded with a 14-8 run to tie the game at 59 to force overtime. Taylor Hawks (25) and Shikiya Brown (19) combined for 44 points to rally the Elephants.

R6 #1 Southwest DeKalb 65, R7 #4 Rome 22: A 16-0 run in the first quarter buried the Lady Wolves at Southwest DeKalb. The state’s No. 1 ranked team, the Lady Panthers, opened up a 29-5 lead heading into the second quarter following Daisa Alexander’s 15 points. Alexander finished with a game-high 21 points. Jada Walton netted 14 points in the rout. They now face R2 #2 Cross Creek in round two, the Lady Razorbacks coming off of a 86-54 blowout of South Effingham.

R2 #3 Warner Robins 53, R3 #2 Glynn Academy 32: Warner Robins took the three hour trek down to Brunswick, Georgia to take on Glynn Academy, both teams holding top ten rankings entering the showdown. In the end, it was the Demonettes getting the best of the Terrors. Shynia Jackson posted 14 points and six rebounds while Keiza Holmes harassed the Glynn Academy guards, picking up eight steals and three blocks to go along with her 14 points.

R8 #4 Winder-Barrow 53, R5 #1 Villa Rica 32: The Lady Wildcats’ home court advantage didn’t seem to matter much as the fourth-seeded Lady Bulldoggs from power Region 8 wiped away any ideas of a first round exit. 6-foot-4 sophomore Olivia Nelson-Ododa was too much inside finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Tiera Mayweather added nine points. Villa Rica star freshman Deasia Merrill entered the game averaging 25.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game from her forward position. The Lady Doggs held her to just 14 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-20 shooting. Winder-Barrow led 9-6 after the first quarter before pushing its lead to 23-11 at the half and 40-24 heading to the fourth quarter.

Class AAAA

R6 #1 Marist 41, R7 #4 Gilmer 34: Host Marist built a 24-19 lead at the half and held Gilmer to just five points in the third quarter to grow the lead to 32-24. Marist senior Dominque Oden dominated the game with 28 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

R4 #1 Mt. Zion-Jonsboro 67, R1 #4 Monroe 51: Tyeisha Juhan continued her offensive onslaught, this time taking the big stage of the state tournament to do her damage. The senior averaging over 25 points and nine points per game, exploded for 41 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals. The Lady Bulldogs face either defending state champion Buford or Whitewater in round two.

R7 #2 Northwest Whitfield 61, R6 #3 St. Pius 48: Bria Clemmons scored 16 of her team-high 18 points in the first half and the Lady Bruins sank six first half threes to take a 35-17 lead at the half before cruising into the second round. Whitley Brooker scored 13 points and Holly Heath added 10 to blow past the Golden Lions. Chandler Hiland chipped in nine points in the win.

R8 #1 North Oconee 64, R5 #4 Troup County 50: Camryn Williams led four Lady Titans in double digits with 19 points. North Oconee is fresh off a Region 8 championship over perennial power Buford, 54-51.

Class AAA

R7 #2 Dawson County 71, R6 #3 Calhoun 54: After falling in the Region 7 championship game to upstart West Hall, the Lady Tigers rebounded with an impressive win over the stingy Yellow Jackets. Haley Burgess poured in five three-pointers en route to 19 points to lead the Tigers. Karlie Bearden added 17 points and Kaylee Sticker stuck 15 points. Coach Steve Sweat’s team drilled 11-of-25 threes and sank all 10 free throw attempts. Jana Johns, the Region 6-AAA Player of the Year, scored 20 points and collected eight steals in the loss. Sydnie Parker finished with nine points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

R2 #2 Kendrick 81, R3 #3 Hephzibah 57: Four days after Peach County snapped Kendrick’s 21-game winning streak in the Region 2-AAA championship (78-73), the Cherokees engineered a team win as five players finished in double-figures. Brittany Thompson got the scoring started with nine first half points to build a 32-25 lead. The Cherokees used an 18-6 run in the final four minutes of the third quarter to grow a commanding 56-38 lead entering the fourth quarter.

R6 #1 Sonoraville 66, R7 #4 Banks County 46: Becca Cheeks powered the Phoenix with 20 points to advance to round two where they will face R2 #2 Kendrick. Evie Delp scored 19 points and Abby Connally netted 12 points on her birthday.

Class AA

R8 #1 Rabun County 81, R5 #4 Bremen 41: Senior guard Bailey Dillard hit a pair of early three-pointers to build a 15-5 lead for Region 8 champion Rabun County. The Wildcats took a 26-12 lead into the second quarter and ballooned a 45-25 halftime lead with a 65-34 edge heading into the fourth. Rabun County’s (24-3) current win streak sits at 22 games.

R6 #2 Wesleyan 86, R7 #3 Darlington 36: Mikayla Coombs, Amaya Register and Cairo Booker combined for 45 points, all scoring 15 apiece to lead the Lady Wolves on their search of state championship No. 12. Jameson Kavel notched 12 points in the win. Wesleyan meets R2 #1 Vidalia in the second round.

R6 #1 Holy Innocents’ 82, R7 #4 Dade County 36: Four players cracked double figures for Coach Tony Watkins’ Golden Bears. Shai Blanding and Erika Cassell both scored 16 points in the win. Kennedy Suttle added 15 and Kaila Hubbard chipped in 13.