Class AA semifinal report from Milledgeville

Vidalia meets Thomasville for the boys Class AA title on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Macon Centreplex. Both programs are looking for their first-ever state titles, as Vidalia defeated Laney 49-45 and Thomasville defeated Glenn Hills 74-57 at Georgia College on Saturday.

On the girls side, Region 4 opponents and Augusta rivals Laney and Josey will meet in the first state championship game of the week on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Macon Centreplex. Defending champion Laney takes a 31-0 record into the final after defeating Model 68-51, and Josey pulled away from Fitzgerald in the second half to win 61-47. It will be the teams’ fifth meeting this season; Laney has won all four games. Laney seeks its third state title, and Josey seeks its second.

Boys

Vidalia 49, Laney 45: Laney opened the game on an 11-2 run, but Vidalia’s Tahj Jones got the Indians going with a pair of three-pointers and the teams ended their back-and-forth opening quarter tied 12-12. Vidalia used a 12-9 scoring advantage in the second quarter to take a 24-21 lead at the half and grew its lead to 34-30 entering the fourth quarter. Sophomore Marc Wardlaw hit a three-pointer that put Vidalia up 39-30 early in the fourth quarter, but Laney outscored the Indians 8-2 over the next 5:20 and made it a one-possession game (41-38) with 1:10 left. Laney’s D’Juan Griffin couldn’t connect on his potential game-tying three-pointer, and No. 3-seeded Vidalia closed out the Wildcats in the final minute, snapping their 19-game winning streak. 

Anthony Jones led Vidalia with 13 points, and Tahj Jones finished with 10. Donald Henley paced Laney with 14 points, and teammate Maurice Paige finished with 13.

Thomasville 74, Glenn Hills 57: Thomasville took control in the first half, building a 31-21 lead at the end of the second quarter after closing the first quarter with a 15-10 edge. Thomasville senior Reggie Perry led the way with a game-high 27 points, and his buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the third quarter extended the Bulldogs’ lead to a comfortable 54-37. Thomasville’s Vonterious Woolbright scored 14 points, and Glenn Hills’ John Whitehead led the Spartans with 16 points. 

Girls

Laney 68, Model 51: Laney overcame a slow start but overwhelmed Model in the second half for the program’s 61st-consecutive win. Model, which fell 65-49 to Laney in last year’s semis and carried a 15-game win streak into Saturday, opened up a promising 10-2 lead. Laney, however, quickly answered and trailed just 16-13 by the end of the opening quarter. The Wildcats proceeded to hold Model to just eight points in the second quarter and grabbed a 25-24 lead by the half. 

Laney mirrored Model’s first-half start with a 10-2 run of its own to open the second half, and Jhessyka Williams turned it into a 15-2 run with an old-fashioned three-point play that expanded the lead to 40-28 with three minutes still left in the third quarter. Laney outscored Model 25-14 in the frame and closed out the victory with an 18-13 advantage in the fourth quarter. 

Josey 61, Fitzgerald 47: Fitzgerald held Josey to just five points in the first quarter, but twins Rhykeria Rolland (22 points) and Tykedra Rolland (17 points), who combined for 39 of Josey’s 61 points, helped the Lady Eagles take a 22-19 halftime lead and outpaced Fitzgerald in the second half. Josey held a 22-19 lead at the end of the first half, and Rhykeria Rolland’s fourth three-pointer of the game extended the lead to 37-27 with 3:14 left in the third quarter. Josey took a 43-32 lead into the final frame. 

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