Two classic matchups showcase Class AAA finals

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

Stegeman Coliseum at the University of Georgia where the Class AAA State Championship games will take place

The Class AAA basketball season has been a wild ride and now it is down to four teams, two girls teams and two boys and a trip to Athens.

Pace punched its ticket to the Class AAA title game after defeating Class AAAA defending champions Liberty County, 71-62, at Armstrong Atlantic in Savannah on March 4.

Pace Academy, the defending Class AA champions, play defending AAA champs Morgan County at 4 p.m.Thursday at Stegeman Coliseum at the University of Georgia.

“Morgan County is a pretty good team,” Pace coach Demetrius Smith said. “They are a guard-oriented team with good shooters and good ball-handlers, but it should be a pretty good game for us.”

The Knights are led by McDonald’s All-American and Duke signee Wendell Carter Jr. Carter, a 6-foot-10 powerforward, was one of the most highly recruited players in the nation.

But Carter, as coach Demetrius Smith knows all too well, is not Pace’s only scoring option. In the victory against Liberty, 6-6 junior power forward Isaiah Kelly made his presence known on the offensive side.

“We are looking for a team victory,” Smith said. “Isaiah had 19 points (in the semifinals), and several others had six points. Of course Wendell is going to do his thing, but everyone else has to step up and play hard to win.”

Morgan County won the 2015-16 Class AAA state title game, 65-56, against Jenkins and will look to make the most of the return trip to the championship game.

Morgan has not really been challenged in the tournament. The Bulldogs have defeated Adairsville, 71-40, Tattnall County, 82-55, Lovett, 70-49, and Calhoun, 72-61.

On the girls’ side of the bracket, the rematch we have all been waiting for has materialized. It’s Johnson-Savannah vs. Beach, Round 5. Both teams have won twice against each other during the regular season.

The average margin of victory for all four games: four points. The number of games that went to overtime: Two. This next game is a toss-up.

Beach moved past the Greater Atlanta Christian Lady Spartans 56-47 in overtime to punch its ticket to the championship game at 2 p.m.Thursday at UGA.

The Lady Bulldogs stormed through the first two rounds, beating Dougherty, 61-33, and Redan, 61-41. Then Beach met the Chargers of Central-Macon in the quarterfinals and just squeaked by, 46-45, which set up the semifinal game against GAC.

Johnson-Savannah defeated Morgan County 48-39 to advance to the title game.

Johnson cruised through the first two rounds, defeating Crisp, 79-27, and North Hall, 64-38. A 70-66 scare from Peach County in the quarterfinals set up the semifinal game against Morgan.

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GAC vs Beach Semi-Final (Blatant Cheating)

in regulation time as score was 47-46. Parents of the Lady Spartans GACS girls’ basketball program are communicating the FACTs to the media which details the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) sanctioned semi-final tournament this weekend 3/4/2017 in Savannah (Beach Home town) . During the contest, in the 3rd quarter at 4:04 a point was taken off the scoreboard without explanation. Proper protocol was followed by the coaches to alert the official scorer and referees however, they refused to acknowledge and resolve the discrepancy. At the end of the game our score keeper took a picture of the official score book. Our findings show that the GHSA official score keeper had many errors in the book and it wasn’t accurate.. Specifically noted a player scored 7 points in the 3rd quarter however the player only received two points in the official books. The score keeper moved 4 points to another player and removed a free throw. This is not a mistake! In review of the GHSA official video and official score book it shows NFHS and GHSA rules were blatantly broken.

Again, this video clearly displays how the semi-final game was won during regulation , the scoring error , inaccurate official Score Book and referees not following proper officiating procedures

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