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See the left panel for the Saturday's semifinals results and check out our recaps from the Savannah and Columbus semifinals. 

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In This Issue
Semifinals Pairings
Semifinals Guide
Saturday Playoff Roundup
Class A-Private Preview
Falcons Moms Clinic
Unsigned Expo
Score Poll
Top Stories
How many free throws did GAC attempt in comparison to Laney's 10 in its 66-58 win on Saturday? 
Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!


Friday's answer:

Tucker senior Erykah Davenport has led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding each round of the playoffs.









Tift County 78, Norcross 70

Wheeler 66, Pebblebrook 49




Miller Grove 69, Jenkins 52

Warner Robins 45, Stephenson 43


Class AAAA


Columbia 57, Westover 55

Jonesboro 78, Alexander 75 (OT)


Class AAA


Buford 92, Callaway 76

Morgan County 70, Johnson-Savannah 52


Class AA


Calhoun 54, Vidalia 41

GAC 66, Laney 58


Class A-Public


Turner County 50, Hawkinsville 49


Wilkinson County 75, Calhoun County 68







Archer 78, Lowndes 67

McEachern 64, S. Forsyth 27




SW DeKalb 59, Forest Park 32

Tucker 54, Drew 38


Class AAAA


Columbus 63, Woodland-Henry 32

Redan 60, S. Effingham 40


Class AAA


Buford 63, Pike County 46

St. Pius X 67, Beach 53


Class AA


Kendrick 74, Putnam Co. 47

Wesleyan 68, Laney 64


Class A-Public


Mitchell Co. 73, Greenville 49

Randolph-Clay 45, Claxton 30

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Monday, March 3, 2014



Check out the official GHSA Semifinals Guide 



By Stephen Black & Craig Sager II

GAC, Kendrick still perfect; Vidalia handed first loss of season



Class AA


Calhoun 54, Vidalia 41: Four Yellow Jackets scored in double digits and Calhoun's physical style of play wore down previously-unbeaten Vidalia in the final period at Columbus State. Vidalia led 23-21 at the half and 30-29 at the end of the third period, but Calhoun dominated the final stanza.


"It's been a staple of our team all year," said Calhoun coach Vince Layson of his team's ability to dominate the final period. "We've got a bunch of guys that like to mix it up."


Senior power forward Austin Byrd led Calhoun with 12 points and a jaw-dropping 24 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Jireh Wilson also had 12 while sophomore shooting guard Kaelan Riley had 11 points and nine boards. Riley and Wilson each had a team-leading four assists.


Greater Atlanta Christian 66, Laney 58: The Spartans shot a whopping 52

Photo by Ty Freeman

free throws to Laney's 10 and made 32 of them. GAC led throughout the game at Columbus State after a 15-0 run late in the second quarter. The spurt occurred just before the half was keyed by a change from man defense to zone defense by Coach Eddie Martin's team. GAC then led 38-24 at the break. In the third period, Laney clawed back to within five and trailed 49-42 heading into the final quarter when GAC had 27 of their foul shots and saw three Laney starters foul out.


Senior forward Isaiah Wilkins, a Virginia signee, led GAC with 21 points, 15 rebounds six blocks and four assists while senior forward Justin Lewis added 17 points, four blocks and a team-high five assists. Troy Morrison totaled 12 points. Laney was led by wing Jashawn Brooks' 11 points and sophomore point guard Zep Jasper's 10. Brooks eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter.


GAC will try to win its fourth boys state championship in the past five seasons next week and second in a row.





Turner County 50, Hawkinsville 49: Turner County trailed 13-11 after the opening quarter, but outscored the Red Devils 16-8 in the second to grab a 37-31 halftime edge. Antonio Graddic scored six points in the second quarter and junior Quan Hillmon netted five.


The Rebels went ice cold in the third quarter and Hawkinsville took advantage with a 16-1 run that grew the Red Devils' lead to 37-28 in the closing minute of the quarter. In the closing seconds, DeAndre Pierce nailed a 3-pointer, Turner County's only field goal of the quarter, and closed the deficit to 37-31. Pierce, who finished with six points, made his second 3-pointer at the start of the fourth and the Rebels were back in business, down 37-34.


Turner County took the lead at 40-38 and Hillman made 5-of-6 fourth-quarter free throws to help hold off Hawkinsville's late push. Hillman finished with 11 points and was 9-of-12 from the foul line. Graddic scored 11 points and 

Rebels senior point guard Nate Martin finished with nine points.


Wilkinson County 75, Calhoun County 68: Wilkinson County built a 38-32 halftime lead over the Cougars at Savannah State's Tiger Arena and closed the game with flawless free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter.


Guards Trey Little and Torrico Simmons netted 16-of-16 attempts from the foul line and led the Warriors in scoring. Little posted a game-high 24 points and Simmons finished with 18. Six-foot-five senior Antonio Williams scored all five of his points in the fourth quarter while tallying five rebounds and three blocks. Wilkinson County won the Class A-Public state championship last season and a successful title defense this Thursday would give the Warriors their third state title in four seasons, and a seventh in school history.




Class AA


Kendrick 74, Putnam County 47: The teams were tied at 15 with three minutes left in the first quarter before Kendrick's full-court press began to overwhelm Putnam County at Columbus State. The Cherokees ended the quarter on a 14-4 run and continued the scoring outburst into the second quarter before Putnam County finally made a basket to end the backbreaking 26-4 scoring run.


Kendrick took a 45-24 lead at the half as senior Khalia Lawrence entered the locker room with 18 first-half points. In the third quarter, Kendrick outscored Putnam County 12-10 and Lawrence continued knocking down big shots. The forward opened the quarter with a baseline jumper and made another jumper with 29 seconds left before stealing the ball and racing the length of the court to drill a buzzer-beater.


Lawrence increased her school-record career point total to 2,051 and finished with a game-high 28 points and added 11 rebounds. Kendrick senior forward Donivan Dyson added nine points and junior forward Taylor Farley finished with seven. The Cherokees are 28-0 and a win away from their first state championship since 2008 and third overall.


Wesleyan 68, Laney 64: Wesleyan trailed Laney 41-29 midway through the third quarter, but used a 17-4 run to take the lead (46-45) heading into the fourth quarter at Columbus State. The turnaround was fueled by a Laney double-technical that sent Wesleyan to the line with the ball in its possession. The Wolves made both free throws and freshman Devyn Lowe then hit a 3-pointer.


Wesleyan eventually took the lead at 44-43 on a Riley Casey 3-pointer. In the fourth quarter, Laney hit a 3-pointer to cut Wesleyan's lead to 56-53 with 3:53 left, but the five-time defending state champions were able to close off the Wildcats' late push on the foul line. Wesleyan sophomore Cairo Booker hit a pair of free throws (the game's final points) that gave Wesleyan a two-possession lead that iced the game. Freshmen Mikayla Coombs (19) and Devyn Lowe (10) were the Wolves' leading scorers.




Mitchell County 73, Greenville 49: Mitchell County came out in the second half leading by seven (36-29) and outscored Greenville 17-9 in the third quarter to take a commanding 53-38 lead heading into the final quarter. Coach Rosemary Sanders mixed her defenses up in the third which helped spark her team's run. Senior A'miracle Jones led Mitchell County with 37 points while senior post Shonbreka Holton added 14 points and a team-high 18 rebounds.


Mitchell County is now one game away from winning its first state girls basketball championship since 1970 and second overall.


Randolph-Clay 45, Claxton 30: At Savannah State, Randolph-Clay sprinted to a 15-4 lead after the first quarter and held off Claxton to clinch its second straight Class-A Public finals berth. The Red Devils led 26-13 at the half and 37-25 at the end of the third quarter.


"They were just so big and fast," said Claxton coach Laura Aziz. "Before we knew it, we were down 6-0 to start the game."


Claxton, in its first semifinals appearance in program history, fought back and narrowed the gap to six points midway through the third quarter.

Randolph-Clay was led by sophomore forward Kobi Thornton's 20 points and senior guard Brandie Buie's 17. Claxton senior point guard Devonna Bewton scored 13 points and Keri Brown grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds.

The Red Devils will chase their first state title since 2000 and third overall next week in the finals.


Monday to reveal Class A-Private finalists 


Class A-Private semifinals

Monday, March 3

(Kennesaw State University)



St. Francis vs. Athens Christian (4:45 p.m.)

Calvary Day vs. Whitefield Academy (8:15 p.m.)



St. Francis vs. SW Atlanta Christian (3 p.m.)

Darlington vs. Holy Innocents' (6:30 p.m.)





Whitefield Academy captured the last Class A championship in 2012 before it split into public and private and it has won two titles in the past five years. Longtime head coach Tyrone Johnson is back at the helm following a one-year sabbatical and he - along with players Jesse Byrd, Eric Lockett and Courtney Alexander - have the WolfPack back in business. Calvary Day is coming off a 64-63 upset of top-ranked Greenforest, in which Khaliq Hughes had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Athens Christian fell at this stage of last year's playoffs, losing to eventual champion Greenforest. 


The Eagles are led by University of Connecticut commitment Will "Turtle" Jackson, who had 19 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals in his team's semifinal win. St. Francis succumbed to Greenforest in the 2013 championship game. The Knights have a new lease on life after recovering from a seven-point deficit with 2:30 left in their quarterfinal against Holy Innocents'. St. Francis will look to impose its size on Athens Christian early and often. 





St. Francis and Southwest Atlanta Christian will square off in the afternoon semifinal game. The Knights have compiled a 25-2 record and have not lost a game since Jan. 17. The Knights are led by senior guard Candice Williams, who averages 13 points per game. Oddly enough, the Knights' last loss came against their semifinal opponent. However, Southwest Atlanta Christian lost to St. Francis in the Region 6-A champion- ship game earlier this month.

Photo by Ty Freeman

The Warriors will seek revenge under the leadership of senior forward Amy Griffin and senior guard Marquita Daniels. 


Darlington and Holy Innocents' will battle in the evening contest at Kennesaw State. When Darlington lost to St. Francis in the Region 6-A Tournament, it lit a fire under the Tigers as they dominated Brookstone and Calvary Day in the playoffs. The Tigers are led by senior guard Maggie Beth Atha who averages 20 points per game. Holy Innocents', on the other hand, has been hot since the season started, compiling a 28-0 record. A couple players to watch for are freshman guard Khayla Pointer and sophomore guard Sydney Long.


2765 Bethany Bend
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Information session from 7 -9 p.m.
These clinics will provide helpful information to mothers who have children considering or already playing football. The clinic will include classroom instruction on proper equipment fitting, concussion awareness and the heads up tackling technique. One of the sessions you will participate in will include on-field drills. Please come dressed in active ware, like tennis shoes and athletic apparel. Current and former Atlanta Falcons will be in attendance.
There is no cost, but participation is limited and will be available first-come, first-served. Would-be participants must register to attend. Check-in begins at 6 p.m. and food and beverages will be provided then. Please leave children and spouses at home. 
Register here:




In an effort to aid Student-Athletes with their dream to play college football, XL212 is hosting an Unsigned Senior Expo in Metro-Atlanta. Unsigned Seniors and Underclassmen are invited to showcase their skills for college coaches and scouts from across the country. The expo will be held on Saturday March 8th at McEachern High School from 1:00-4:00pm. Student-Athletes will be measured with Fully Automated Timing Systems (F.A.T.S) so the data received will be accurate. Testing will consist of: 40-yard dash, height, weight, broad jump, vertical jump, 5-10-5 drill, L-Drill, and powerball toss. Participants will also receive an XL212 Certified player-profile sheet that can be sent to any college coach the player desires, and online exposure in the XL212 database.


Every year, thousands of talented High School football players get overlooked by college scouts based on lack of exposure. Many Student-Athletes attend expos to gain more exposure and increase their opportunity to play at the next level. In fact, Student-Athletes that participated in similar football combines in Texas and California have earned millions of dollars in scholarship money and grants to play college football.



McEachern HS:

2400 New Macland Road
Powder Springs, GA 30127

Date: Saturday March 8th, 2014

Register online:

Cost: $49


For more info and questions please call XL212 at 678-509-5212 or email Nate Peterson at:




Dear Coach,

We wanted to provide an update regarding the 2014 Atlanta Falcons Coaches Clinic hosted by Head Coach Mike Smith. Due to the NFL Draft which is now in May and required commitments, the next Coaches Clinic will be held in March 2015. Please save the date for the Atlanta Falcons Salute to High School Football reception for Georgia high school football head coaches on Saturday, December 13 at the Georgia Dome. 


Please save the date for the Atlanta Falcons Salute to High School Football reception for Georgia high school football head coaches on Saturday, December 13 at the Georgia Dome. 


For other Atlanta Falcons youth and prep football program information, please visit or on twitter @AFPlayFootball


Thanks so much for your support of the Atlanta Falcons. 


All inquiries should be directed to David Quiroga, Youth and Prep Football Coordinator at 770-965-4310 or



Atlanta Falcons Community Relations Department 

DIRECT PHONE: 770-965-4310  





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