The Class AA boys and girls basketball semifinals are being played at Georgia College and State University on Saturday. Swainsboro and South Atlanta advanced to play in the boys AA championship game on Saturday at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion at 4 p.m. Laney and Rabun County will tipoff in the girls Class AA championship at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Boys: Swainsboro 68. Dublin 64.
It was a close game throughout but the Swainsboro Tigers were ultimately able to walk away with the win over the Dublin County Fighting Irish to advance to the AA finals.
Swainsboro led 32-30 after the first half. Dublin got their first lead in the third quarter following a 9-0 run and they entered the fourth quarter leading 47-45. Dublin's Devin Durham hit a three-pointer with 5:05 left in the game tie it up, but the Tigers then proceeded to go on a 7-0 run to clinch the victory.
“We took the lead and felt like we had it,” Dublin head coach Paul Williams told The Macon Telegraph. “But a couple of bad decisions, in this environment [are costly]…”. Jaylan MckKinney scored 32 points for the Tigers. Kameron Pauldo led Dublin with a team-high 27 points.
Boys: South Atlanta 61, Josey 50
The Eagles led 6-4 at the end of the first but the Hornets had a 17-15 edge at the half. The Hornets then had an explosive third quarter outscoring the Eagles 25-9. The Eagles were determined to fight back though, outscoring South Atlanta 26-19 in the fourth but it wasn't enough.
The Eagles' high scorer was Dominique Hurst with 17 points. South Atlanta's Devonte Pullins led all scorers with 19 points. Jaylen Barnes and Dondre Barnes both put up 17. Despite the loss, Eagles' head coach Kelly Windstead was still proud of his group.
"We had a great season," he said. "No one expected us to make it the final four but we a team believed we could make it."
South Atlanta now heads to the finals and said coach Michael Reddick said, "even though it's the last game of the season that's the most most important thing, to try and improve and make sure the last game's a good one"
Girls: Laney 64, Model 49
The Laney Wildcats dominated in the first half 33-16. Model applied pressure to Laney at the start the third quarter to spark a 12-2 run, but they were eventually outscored 24-19 in the period. Jayden Hamilton finished 19 points and nine rebounds, De’Sha Benjamin netted 18 points to go with seven rebounds and five blocked shots. Jasmine Bartlett chipped in 12 points.
Girls: Rabun County 65, Bleckley County 37
The Rabun County Wildcats will make a trip to the AA finals after dominating the Bleckley County Royals. The Wildcats had a strong advantage going into the half leading 34-19. Rabun County never trailed and outscored Bleckley County 23-14 in the third quarter.
The Wildcats came out on top with both excellent offensive and defensive performances. Georgia Stockton led all scorers with 18 points while grabbing four rebounds. Savanna Scott scored 14 points, pulled down seven boards and tallied five steals. Hallie Reeves and Tessa Matheson also had five steals each. Reeves chipped in six points and Matheson added four.
“We know we have a tough opponent coming up, but right now we’re just gonna enjoy this one and we’ll get to work next week,” said Wildcats coach DeeDee Dillard following the victory.