Saturday Semifinal Results

Top-ranked Pace Academy’s boys will face Jefferson in the state championship game at 4 p.m. on. Thursday at the Macon Centreplex after the Knights beat Johnson-Savannah and the Dragons beat Central-Macon. On the girls side, Greater Atlanta Christian will play Beach in the championship game at 6 p.m. after the Spartans beat No. 1 Johnson-Savannah and Beach defeated North Hall.


Pace Academy 75, Johnson-Savannah 46

VALDOSTA — The Pace Academy boys are heading back to the state championship for the first time since 2017 following Saturday’s 75-46 blowout victory over Johnson-Savannah. The Knights opened the game on an 8-0 run and took a 17-7 lead at the end of the opening quarter. Pace Academy went into the half with a 37-20 edge before cruising to the 29-point victory. Matthew Cleveland led the Knights with his game-high 26 points and teammate Cole Middleton scored 18 points.

Johnson-Savannah’s Emondre Bowles scored a team-high 18 to lead the Atomsmashers.

Jefferson 66, Central-Macon 58

Jefferson will play for the first state championship in program history after it moved past Central-Macon with a rally in the fourth quarter which put the game away.

The Dragons led 14-9 after the first quarter and extended its lead to 28-21 at the half. Jefferson pushed the lead to nine points, but the Chargers responded to pull within two points 35-33 with 3:20 left in the third quarter. Central tied at 42 the game on a 3-pointer by Harold Thompkins at the end of the third quarter before Jefferson took control. The Dragons pushed the lead to 53-44 with 5:38 left in the game and weathered a Central run which cut the lead to four points with one minute left but Jefferson was able to hold on.

Senior shooting guard Owen Parker and junior Kam Robinson each scored 16 points to lead Jefferson. Senior power forward Jacob Radaker scored 15 points.


Greater Atlanta Christian 52, Johnson-Savannah 50

Greater Atlanta Christian will have a chance for its ninth girls state basketball championship after moving past the two-time defending champions Johnson in the semifinals. The Spartans overcame a 29-22 halftime deficit to serve the Atomsmashers its second loss of the season and first since it lost to Glynn Academy on Nov. 25, a streak of 23 games.

Entering the fourth quarter, GAC trailed 41-39 after a 3-point shot by Johnson and with four minutes left in the game, Johnson led 46-43. GAC tied the game at 46 with 3:19 left and took a 51-46 lead with 1:30 remaining. With 20 seconds left, Johnson trailed 52-50 after a basket by Jaida Burgess but it could not manage to complete the comeback as a desperation 3-pointer from Zoriah Mobley fell just short of the rim.

Sophomore guard Kaleigh Addie led GAC with 22 points and three steals. Senior guard Ava Irvin scored 14 points with two steals and eight rebounds. Sophomore shooting guard Jaci Bolden scored 13 points and sophomore forward Molly Pritchard grabbed 12 rebounds.

Beach 52, North Hall 31

The Beach Lady Bulldogs will have a shot for its third state championship and first since 2017 after overwhelmed North Hall in the semifinals. The Bulldogs opened with a devastating 16-5 first quarter and took a 30-10 halftime lead. The teams matched baskets in the second half as Beach controlled the pace to protect its lead in the 52-31 victory.

Junior Kaila Rougier led Beach with a game-high 14 points and teammates Madison Evans (13) and sophomore Ameyah Dantzler (13) also notched double-figures.

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