Lakeview Academy senior Kelly Nash picked the perfect time to step up.
With his team’s once large lead down to just three points, Nash came off the Lakeview bench and came up with big play after big play to help Lakeview stave off the Redskins of Social Circle 75-61 on Friday during the semifinals of the Region 8-A tournament at Towns County High.
While he only scored six points in the win, Nash had an impact in a close fourth quarter with two rebounds, two steals, an assist and a huge block with 1:16 to play that all but sealed the win for Lakeview.
The win advances the Lions (19-8) to the region championship where they will play Jefferson at 8:30 tonight at Towns County.
Preutt led the Lions offensively with 17 points, while Carswell added 12 points and three assists. Tyler Ward chipped in with 10 points.
Jefferson boys 86, Athens Academy 69
Chris Beck scored a game-high 34 points to lead Dragons to a win Friday night during the semifinals of the Region 8-A tournament at Towns County. Beck scored 14 in the third quarter to give Jefferson (15-12) a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. It was a lead that they would never relinquish.
Athens Academy, which had won 14 straight, was led by Jeremy Burgess, who scored 27 points.
The win for the Dragons increases its winning streak to five games, and keeps their chances for a sixth consecutive region title alive. Darius Minor scored 17 points for Jefferson, which lost to the Spartans twice during the regular season.
Jefferson will play Lakeview Academy in the Region 8-A Championship at 8:30 tonight at Towns County.
East Hall 70, Chestatee 52
Tracy Gardner and Kiante Young led four Vikings in double figures with 14 points each in East Hall’s win over Chestatee on Friday night at Gainesville High.
With the win the Vikings (22-5) move on to the region finals where they will face Flowery Branch at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Gainesville High.
The War Eagles (21-7) were led by Tennessee State signee Parker Smith who scored 16 points. Branden Jovaag added 12 points for Chestatee.
Senior Dedric Ware contributed 13 points for the Vikings and Ken Wise had 10.
Gainesville girls 52, Gilmer 43
Six straight points by Lady Red Elephants freshman shooting guard Mikelyn DeFoor with under six minutes to go in the fourth quarter gave Gainesville a lead it would not relinquish and ensured it a spot in the Region 7-AAA title game No. 8 Gilmer on Friday night at Gainesville High.
The seventh-ranked Lady Red Elephants (22-5) will face North Hall at 6 tonight at Gainesville High for the region championship.
Sophomore Jaymee Carnes made sure the Lady Red Elephants were close enough to be able to take a late lead with a team-high 20 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks.
Gilmer (21-6) point guard Kylie Smith had a game-high 25 points.
Flowery Branch boys 71, Gainesville 66
Eighth-ranked Flowery Branch, thanks to back-to-back defensive stops with under thirty seconds to play in the fourth quarter and five straight points by senior A.C. Bailey, survived a fired-up Gainesville squad to make it into the Region 7-AAA tournament finals. The Falcons will face East Hall at 7:30 tonight at Gainesville High for the region championship.
Gainesville junior George Manomano had a game-high 33 points.
Flowery Branch, led by Josh Barrett’s 18 points and Bailey’s 12, was able to fight through the Red Elephants’ constant comebacks to get the win and move into position to win the school’s first basketball region championship.
Gainesville will face Chestatee in the consolation game at 4:30 p.m. today.
Riverside Military 84, Dominion Christian 77
The Eagles wrapped up GISA Region 1-AAA’s No. 3 seed Friday, pulling away from Dominion in the third quarter.
Joseph Lister scored 19 points, while Steven Frady and Charlie Riley added 18 to lead the Eagles (12-11).
Riverside now advances to the GISA AAA state tournament. The Eagles will play Thursday in Macon against an opponent yet to be determined.
Evangel (Ala.) 53, Heritage Academy 43
Heritage was knocked out of the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama playoffs in the first round Friday night, despite Andrew Porter’s 24 points.
Mason Roszell added 10 points for Heritage (17-10).
Buford girls 13, Aquinas 3
The Lady Wolves, ranked No. 4 in Class AA, jumped out to an 8-1 first half lead and cruised to an easy win Friday, getting goals from nine players.
Freshman Katie Garth led the way with three goals and an assist, while Catherine Roadcap and South Carolina signee Maria Petroni each scored twice.
Buford (1-0-1) returns to action at 5 p.m. Friday at Fannin County.
Lumpkin County girls 3, Dawson County 0
Megan Hampill posted a shut out in goal as the Lady Indians downed Dawson County on Friday in Dahlonega.
Robby Rentz, Christina Lee and Laura Webber each scored once for Lumpkin County (1-0).
The Lady Indians will play next at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Stephens County.
Lumpkin County boys 3, Dawson County 0
Arlin Zajim posted a first-half goal, then Cesar Guerrero and Max Angel scored in the second half as the Indians defeated Dawson County on Friday in Dahlonega.
Ben Garner earned the shut out in goal for the Indians (1-0), who return to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Stephens County.
Gainesville boys 3, Buford 2
The Red Elephants swept both matches in doubles play en route to a win over the Wolves on Thursday.
Robbie Bilbrough and Luis Hokayem won in No. 1 doubles, 6-2, 6-3, while Drew Denning and Doug McDuff won 6-4, 6-3 in No. 2 doubles. Ryan Joiner scored Gainesville’s only singles win with a 6-4, 6-4 decision in No. 2 singles.