GHSA state basketball playoffs: Saturday night recap

The GHSA state basketball playoffs continued Saturday with the second round of the state’s 100th tournament.




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McEachern 57, Grayson 56 OT

North Gwinnett 38, Norcross 37

No. 7 North Gwinnett held off No. 9 ranked Norcross and extended its winning streak to 15 games. Norcross’ London Johnson was fouled on a three-point attempt with 3.5 left, but only connected on one of his free-throws. Brenden Rigsbee and RJ Godfrey led the Bulldogs with nine points each.

Milton 63, Archer 42

Nationally ranked Milton cruised past Archer to set up a home game against Newnan in the Elite eight. Bruce Thornton (20 points), Carlyle Kanaan (14), Lebbeaus Thomas Overton (12), and Kendall Campbell led the Eagles with double-digit scoring.

Pebblebrook 87, Newton 59

Pebblebrook stormed to a 43-24 halftime lead and took a 61-45 lead into the final frame. The Falcons advance to take on North Gwinnett in the Elite Eight.


Newton 55, North Paulding 46

North Paulding overcame a 27-23 halftime deficit to advance to the Elite 8. Newton’s Aliyah Washington netted a game-high 21 points to go with her 12 rebounds.

Brookwood 56, Campbell 48

Unranked Brookwood avenged its 53-50 loss to Campbell in last year’s quarterfinals and advanced to the Elite Eight to face North Paulding after closing out the No. 4 ranked Spartans.



Westlake 71, Heritage-Conyers 69 (OT)

Westlake completed a furious comeback with an overtime win at home against Heritage-Conyers, overcoming a 22-7 deficit after the first quarter, a 33-20 deficit at halftime and a 10-point deficit with five minutes to play in regulation before tying the game at 60-60 to force overtime. The Lions improved to 16-3 and will play at Kell in the quarterfinals.

Grovetown 60, Lee County 52

Grovetown defeated Lee County on the road to reach the state quarterfinals, leading 38-18 at halftime and holding off a Lee County rally in the second half. The team will play at River Ridge on Tuesday in the third round.

Evans 63, Tucker 50

Evans led 32-22 at halftime and led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter in its home win over Tucker to advance to the state quarterfinals. Devin Story led the Knights with 18 points, Joshton Mincey scored 17 points and Brasen James scored 11 points to go with eight rebounds. Also for Evans, Rashad King added seven points, six assists and seven rebounds; Tyson Jones had seven rebounds and three blocks; and Jay Stephens had seven rebounds.

Westlake 71, Heritage-Conyers 69 (OT)

Westlake completed a furious comeback with an overtime win at home against Heritage-Conyers, overcoming a 22-7 deficit after the first quarter, a 33-20 deficit at halftime and a 10-point deficit with five minutes to play in regulation before tying the game at 60-60 to force overtime. The Lions improved to 16-3 and will play at Kell in the quarterfinals.

Lee County 55, Brunswick 52 (OT)

M.J. Taylor hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime to give Lee County the home win. Taylor finished with 18 points and also made a clutch three-pointer at the end of regulation to tie the game at 46-46 heading into overtime. For Brunswick, Xavier Bean led the team with 14 points. The teams were tied at 23-23 at halftime, and Brunswick held a 38-36 lead after the third quarter.

Wheeler 77, Lanier 64

Host Wheeler had four players score in double-figures, as guard Isaiah Collier scored 19 points to go with eight assists and four rebounds to lead the Wildcats. Ja’Heim Hudson had 18 points and 11 rebounds; Juvon Gamory had 12 points and three assists; Maxwell Harris had 14 points, four rebounds and four assists; and Kaleb Washington had 10 points and 10 rebounds. For Lanier, Andrew McConnell scored 23 points, Justin Birch added 17 points and Makai Vassell had 12 points.


Grovetown 60, Lee County 52

Grovetown defeated Lee County on the road to reach the state quarterfinals, leading 38-18 at halftime and holding off a Lee County rally in the second half. The team will play at River Ridge on Tuesday in the third round.

Westlake 84, Brunswick 36

Westlake outscored visiting Brunswick 22-7 in the first quarter and 29-6 in the third quarter to help it advance to the state quarterfinals. Taniya Latson led Westlake with 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go with five steals, three assists and three rebounds. Raven Johnson had 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals; Brianna Turnage had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals; and Camerah Langston had nine points, four steals and three assists.



St. Pius X 70, Blessed Trinity 52

The Golden Lions advanced into the quarterfinals for the sixth straight season following their sound victory over Blessed Trinity. Senior point guard Brookes Kahlert led the team in scoring with 19 points. Next in line was the duo of Senior Trey Acklin and Junior Eamonn Kenah, who each scored 16 points. St. Pius now awaits its matchup against Tri-Cities in the elite eight.

New Manchester 59, Decatur 52

The New Manchester Jaguars narrowly bested Decatur in the second round to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. There, they’ll be matched up against Eagle’s Landing following the Eagles’ win over Forest Park.

Clarke Central 71, Villa Rica 57

The Clarke Central Gladiators propelled themselves into the quarterfinals with a sound victory over Villa Rica, their 17th consecutive win. They will be matched up against Dutchtown following the Bulldogs’ victory over Jonesboro.

Veterans 81, Woodward 63

The Veterans Warhawks rolled past Woodward to remain undefeated on the season (23-0) and earn a spot in the quarterfinals. Junior guard Tajh Williams was electric on the court, scoring a team-high 24 points including six three-pointers. Next in line were Senior guard DeAngelo Hines and Freshman TJ Grant who scored 17 and 15 points, respectively. Senior forward Khalil Johnson also chipped in eight points.

Chapel Hill 60, Lithonia 53

The Panthers became the first 4-seed team in the playoffs to advance into the quarterfinals with an upset-victory over Lithonia. Senior KJ Doucet contributed heavily on offense, scoring a team-high 20 points and snagging eight rebounds. Chapel Hill’s next challenge will be taking on top-ranked Veterans.

Dutchtown 57, Jonesboro 51

The Dutchtown Bulldogs narrowly bested Jonesboro to earn a spot in the elite eight where they’ll be matched up against Clarke Central. Dutchtown was led by the duo of Senior guard Cam Callahan and Sophomore forward Coen Carr, who each scored 14 points. Callahan and Carr also snagged five and six rebounds, respectively. Sophomore guard Davarri Barthell also contributed on offense with 10 points.


Dutchtown 42, McIntosh 34

The Dutchtown Lady Bulldogs found themselves down 11-10 at the end of the first quarter but managed to go ahead 21-17 at the half and held onto the lead to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. There, Dutchtown will be paired against New Manchester.



Dougherty 61, New Hampstead 56

Visiting Dougherty extended its 12-8 first quarter to lead to 35-20 at the half. No. 1 seed North Hampstead cut the lead to 59-56 with 31 seconds left before the Trojans iced the victory.

Cedar Shoals 75, Stephenson 66

Cedar Shoals trailed 28-6 at the end of the first quarter before roaring back to clinch the victory. Kashik Brown led the way with 28 points and teammate Jah Colbert finished with 20 points to lead Cedar Shoals.



LaFayette 63, Greater Atlanta Christian 54

Three players scored in double figures for LaFayette as the Ramblers moved past GAC and into the quarterfinals. Aidan Hadaway and DeCameron Porte each scored 19 points. Junior Barber scored 16 points and Jaylon Ramsey scored seven points.

Cross Creek 60, Americus-Sumter 52

Corey Trotter led Cross Creek with 24 points, Richard Visitacion scored 18 points and Devin Pope scored 12 points to lead the Razorbacks past the Panthers. Cross Creek with travel to LaFayette in the second round.

Windsor Forest 64, Appling County 41

The Knights led 20-15 after the first quarter and expanded its lead to 31-21 at the break. Windsor Forest outscored the Pirates 33-20 in the second half to pull away.

Hart County 70, Cherokee Bluff 45

After ending the first quarter tied at 12, the Bulldogs took control with a 19-7 run in the second quarter and a 19-11 advantage in the third quarter to take control. Hart County pushed the lead with a 20-15 effort in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Johnson-Savannah 75, Long County 43

The Atomsmashers had little trouble with Long County in the second round and will face top-ranked Sandy Creek in the quarterfinals.


Johnson-Savannah 68, Tattnall County 58

Tiana Williams scored 25 points with five assists and five steals to lead the Atomsmashers past Tattnall County. K’Lya Hankerson scored 24 points with 20 rebounds and 15 blocks. Amani Hamilton scored 17 points with 20 rebounds and six blocks. Johnson will face Greater Atlanta Christian in the quarterfinals.



Washington County 61, Westside-Augusta 51

Third-ranked Washington County will square off against Region 6 No. 3 seed Columbia following its 61-51 victory over the Westside-Augusta Patriots. Senior Jairus Brown provided a game-high 20 points for the Golden Hawks, and finished with four rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals as well.

Columbia 57, Callaway 56

Region 6 No. 3 seed Columbia held on through seventh-ranked Callaway’s second-half rally to complete the road upset in a Sweet Sixteen thriller that saw three lead changes in the final minute of play. Callaway steadily chipped away at the Eagles’ 10-point halftime advantage until the Cavaliers’ pulled ahead by a point (54-53) with just over three minutes remaining. The final lead change belonged to Columbia, however, which will face Washington County in the Elite Eight.

Lovett 74, Elbert County 49

Fourth-ranked Lovett traveled to Elbert County Saturday night and handled the Region 8 No. 1 seeded Blue Devils to advance to the next round. 6’11 senior—and Georgetown signee—Ryan Mutombo finished with 34 points and seven blocks for the Lions, whose only two losses over the past ten games both came against top-ranked Pace Academy.

Swainsboro 74, Laney 68 (OT)

Second-ranked Swainsboro and Region 4 No. 2 seed Laney each had dominant stretches in a streaky Sweet Sixteen showdown that ultimately ended with the host Tigers getting their 18th straight win to advance to the Elite Eight. The visiting Wildcats successfully contained the defending 2A champs early on, outscoring Swainsboro 13-4 in the second quarter for a 32-24 edge at the break. The Tigers bounced back with a 28-point third quarter, but Laney rallied in the fourth for a 62-62 tie at the end of regulation. Swainsboro maintained control throughout the overtime period, however, and the Tigers will face a rolling Lovett squad in the semifinals.

Rabun County 53, Model 47

Region 8 No. 3 seed Rabun County came away with a 53-47 road win over Region 7 No. 1 seed Model to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. The Wildcats will try to topple a Thomasville team on a 15-game win streak in next week’s quarterfinals.

Butler 76, Toombs County 25

Eighth-ranked Butler had its Sweet Sixteen matchup with Toombs County all but put away when the opening frame closed with the Bulldogs ahead by a margin of 27-1. The home team grew its lead to 50-11 by halftime and 71-20 heading into the fourth quarter before closing out its 16th consecutive victory. Butler’s boys and girls teams each earned a spot in next week’s Elite Eight, but the former will have to take down top-ranked Pace Academy to advance to the semifinals.

Thomasville 82, Woodville-Tompkins 62

Region 2 No. 3 seed Woodville-Tompkins started strong against fifth-ranked Thomasville, holding a 20-18 lead at the end of the first quarter and staying within two possessions of Region 1 No. 1 seeded Bulldogs as the second half began. Thomasville steadily pulled away from there, however, and stamped its 15th consecutive win to move on to next week’s quarterfinals.


Callaway 66, Chattooga 61 (OT)

Region 5 No. 1 seed Callaway began the third quarter of its Sweet Sixteen matchup with Region 7 No. 2 seed Chattooga facing a 30-16 deficit, but ended it ahead by a point (39-38) after the Cavaliers outscored the Indians 23-8 during the frame. Chattooga found its footing again in the fourth and took a 54-52 lead with 15 seconds on the clock before Niakoe Burks provided the game-tying score with four seconds to spare. Callaway started the overtime period with a 9-0 run to seal the win and earn a shot at Washington County in the Elite Eight.

Butler 62, Woodville-Tompkins 47

Neither seventh-ranked Butler nor ninth-ranked Woodville-Tompkins could get much of anything going early on in Saturday’s Sweet Sixteen matchup, and the opening frame ended with the Region 4 No. 1 seeded Bulldogs facing a 6-3 deficit. Both teams managed to shake some of their offensive woes in the second and third quarters, but it was the home team that finally found a groove. Butler broke open a narrow 35-32 lead with a 27-point spree in the final frame, and the 62-47 victory marked the 10th-straight for the Lady Bulldogs.

Columbia 50, Rabun County 41

Region 6 No. 1 seed Columbia got its 14th-straight win in an emotional Sweet Sixteen battle between the tenth-ranked Eagles and sixth-ranked Wildcats of Rabun County. The home team started the second quarter on an 8-0 run to turn an 8-8 tie at the end of the first into a 24-13 halftime advantage. Columbia’s momentum swing ended abruptly in the third, however, when Keyonna Giles left the game with a knee injury. Already reeling from the loss of Kamiya Kennedy to an injury during practice earlier in the week, Columbia struggled to stop Rabun County from closing the gap. The Eagles finally regained control in the fourth, however, and will battle Butler in the Elite Eight for a spot in the semifinals.


A Public


Portal 61, Pelham 52

Ninth-ranked Portal’s dominant third quarter turned a 27-25 halftime deficit into a 10-point advantage heading into the final frame of its second-round meeting with Region 1 No. 2 seed Pelham. The Panthers will carry an 11-game win streak into the Elite Eight, where they will face seventh-ranked Chattahoochee County.

Chattahoochee County 64, BEST Academy 47

The Region 6 No. 3 seeded BEST Academy Eagles found a second-half spark against host Chattahoochee County, chipping away at a 19-point halftime deficit to make it a two-possession game before the seventh-ranked Panthers pulled away for good. The 64-47 win extends Chattahoochee County’s win streak to 12 games ahead of next week’s matchup with Portal.

Hancock Central 68, Social Circle 58

Sixth-ranked Hancock Central led visiting Social Circle 31-24 at halftime and 47-38 heading into the fourth quarter en route to a comfortable 68-58 second-round victory that sets up an Elite Eight matchup between the Bulldogs and Terrell County.

Dublin 61, Turner County 42

Dublin’s boys and girls teams shared a common foe in Saturday’s slate of Sweet Sixteen games, with both squads squaring off against the Turner County Rebels out of Region 2. The Lady Irish saw their season end in the first game of the double-header, but Dublin’s second-ranked boys team fared better, advancing to next week’s Elite Eight with a 61-42 victory that pushed the Fighting Irish’s win streak to 23 games.

Drew Charter 76, Lincoln County 67

Top-ranked Drew Charter kept its perfect season going with a 76-67 victory over Region 8 No. 2 seed Lincoln County. Junior JaQuez Thornton finished with a game-high 36 points in his team’s 24th win of the year, and Region 4 No. 1 seed Dublin will try to keep Drew Charter from getting a 25th when the teams face off in the Elite Eight.


Clinch County 57, Montgomery County 38

Second-ranked Clinch County won its 18th game in a row in a comfortable 57-38 victory over visiting Montgomery County. The Pantherettes will square off against undefeated Lake Oconee Academy next week in an Elite Eight battle between the classification’s top two teams.

Turner County 60, Dublin 40

Eighth-ranked Turner County won big on the road against fourth-ranked Dublin, earning its fifth-straight victory to advance to next week’s quarterfinals. The Rebels will face unranked Commerce with a trip to the Final Four on the line.


A Private


Holy Innocents’ 41, Darlington 35

The Holy Innocents Episcopal Golden Bears defeated the Darlington Tigers in a close game in the Sweet 16 round of the state playoffs. The top player for the Golden Bears today was senior combo guard Garrison Powell, who had 25 points and seven rebounds. The Golden Bears will face off against the Savannah Country Day Hornets in the Elite Eight.

Mt. Pisgah 62, Providence 50

The Mount Pisgah Christian Patriots blew out No. 1 ranked Providence Christian Academy on the road in the Sweet 16 round of the state playoffs. The Patriots started off hot with a dominant first quarter, leading the Storm 23-5 going into the second quarter. The Patriots expanded that lead to 40-15 at the half. The Patriots continued their dominance in the third quarter, leading the Storm 45-27 going into the fourth quarter. The Storm managed to narrow the gap in the fourth quarter by scoring 23 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit. The Patriots will face off against the St. Anne-Pacelli Vikings in the Elite Eight.

Christian Heritage 68, Athens Academy 56

The No. 10 ranked Christian Heritage Lions held off the Athens Academy Spartans in the Sweet 16 round of the state playoffs. The Lions led the Spartans 33-29 at halftime and went on to win the game by double-digits. Senior Deion Colzie was the top performer for the Spartans with 26 points and four blocks. Senior Jack Nasworthy was second with nine points. Seniors James Chandler and Hugh Laughlin were tied for third with six points each. Another notable performer was senior Palmer Bush, who had 10 assists. The Lions will face off against the First Presbyterian Day Vikings in the Elite Eight.

Greenforest 51, Trinity Christian 48

The Greenforest Eagles edged out the Trinity Christian Lions in the Sweet Sixteen round of the state playoffs. The game was close in the first quarter, with the Eagles leading the Lions 14-11 going into the second quarter. Then, the Eagles began to run away with the game in the second quarter and take a 31-20 lead going into halftime. The third quarter was uneventful, as the two teams only combined for 13 points. Then, in the fourth quarter, things heated up as the Lions scored 21 points in the quarter to make it close.


Greenforest 70, Brookstone 28

The Greenforest Eagles ran away with their Sweet 16 game against the Brookstone Cougars. The game was close in the first half, with the Eagles leading the Cougars 28-21 at the end of the first quarter and at halftime after a scoreless second quarter. Then, in the third quarter, the Eagles blew the game wide open, scoring 27 points and holding the Cougars to just 4 points. The trend continued in the fourth quarter, with the Eagles scoring 15 points and holding the Cougars to just 3 points. The Eagles will face off against the Galloway Scots in the Elite Eight.



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