6 Savannah Men’s Basketball Teams, 4 from Region 3-3A, in GA Elite 8

Savannah’s basketball community is a tight-knit group that is proud of the host city’s hoops history.

On Saturday, the home teams took their game to the next level with some great playoff performances.

Region 3-3A men’s teams have talked throughout the season about the special group they have this season, and now four teams will represent Savannah in the GHSA Class 3A Elite Eight.

Regional champion Groves put on a solid performance as the Rebels defeated Greater Atlanta Christian 54-44 in an afternoon game at Savannah High. Then Beach, the No. 4 seed in the region, won its second game on the road to the playoffs by eliminating White County 57-52.

Read more:How Windsor Forest hit the road and knocked out No. 1 Sandy Creek in the State Basketball Playoffs

Johnson coach Chuck Campbell and Atom Smashers assistant Michael Jaudon were at the Groves game, supporting Rebels coach Kevin Evans and his team. Campbell was informed of Beach’s victory before the start of his match and passed the news on enthusiastically to his aides.

Then his Atom Smashers closed things out in style with a 52-46 win over visiting Redan.

Redan took a 39-35 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Atom Smashers defense crumbled as Johnson beat Redan 17-7 in the final eight minutes to close things out.

Ties that unite:The bond between Savannah’s basketball coaches goes beyond the court

“I tell the boys I never panic, so they never panic,” Campbell said. “We got the saves we needed on the stretch. Our kids are tough, they’re 912 strong. We learned that Beach had won, and we knew we had to do it on our home court for the city. “

Antonio Baker led Johnson with 22 points, Malachi Robinson had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Ted Hurst added eight points with Xayon Praylo coming in big in critical time with a few key plays, adding six points and a pair of huge interceptions.

“Redan played good defense, and they hung on – they’re a scrappy team,” Baker said. “But we remained patient and, as the coach said, we didn’t panic. I was able to go to the basket tonight and we played as a team.”

Antonio Baker of Johnson High School.

Johnson (17-10) will be on the road to face No. 1 seed Thomson on Tuesday or Wednesday at a time to be announced.

Groves took a 12-2 lead over Greater Atlanta Christian, then weathered the storm as the Spartans came back to take their first lead of the game with two minutes left in the third quarter.

The game was tied at 38 after three quarters, but the Rebels took control in the final stanza. I’Keen Johnson hit a pull-up, and on the next possession he connected from wide on the right wing on a pass from Tremaine Johnson.

Then Tremaine Johnson lobbed Jerald Colonel, who came flying from the left baseline to slam it as the home crown was unleashed with Groves taking a 45-38 lead he wouldn’t give up.

Colonel had 12 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, Tremaine Johnson had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds, and I’Keen Johnson had 10 points and four steals for the Rebels (18-5), who are expected to host Cross Creek in Savannah High Tuesday or Wednesday at a time to be announced.

“When GAC went up, we never lost our cool,” Evans said. “We kept up our intensity. We were ready to play today, we shared the ball and everyone contributed. (Sophomore) Julian Miller came on for a few minutes when the Colonel had foul trouble and he made some big plays, and we played well tonight. Hopefully Beach and Johnson win tonight so we can sweep Savannah in the Sweet 16.”

Windsor Forest kicked off the party Friday night when the Knights hit the road to beat Sandy Creek 47-37. The Patriots entered the playoffs as the highest-ranked 3A team in the state by Sandysspiel.com, while the Knights were ranked No. 3.

Beach came back from a 12-point third-quarter deficit to upset host White County 57-52.

“It was a great environment. White County had a rowdy crowd and their No. 4 kid (Zach McCoy) came out and took some damage,” beach coach Simon Heyward said. “We were down 12 points in the third quarter, but we bounced back. We’ve got such a great group of kids this year. They’ve worked hard all year.”

Shamarrie Hugie scored 27 points, Larry Johnson had 10 and James Leach added eight to lead the Bulldogs (15-8), who will be on the road to face Burke County on Tuesday or Wednesday at a time to be announced. .

“Since we had the pre-season media day at the start of the year, we’ve been talking about the specificity of our region. We thought all of our teams should be in the top 10, and we did. proved in the playoffs,” Heyward said. “Nobody gave us a chance against White County, and everybody said Sandy Creek would beat Windsor and Groves would lose to GAC. And Johnson also got the job done. We’re showing how strong basketball is in Savannah.”

Woodville-Tompkins qualified for Class 2A Elite Eight on Friday night with an overtime victory in Rabun County as Lukas Platauna tallied 38 points in a 72-63 win.

Woodville is expected to be on the road to face Model on Tuesday or Wednesday at a time to be announced in the quarterfinals.

CALVARY DAY 68, CHRISTIAN PROVIDENCE 61

The Cavaliers, who won the Region 3-A privateer title, continued their run of excellence with a win over Providence Christian, who entered the playoffs ranked No. 8 among Class A privateers by Sandysspiel. .com.

“We played together tonight and executed well – we won every quarter,” said Calvary senior Juwan Johnson, who signed to play football at Mercer University.

Johnson said Calvary is focused on stopping Providence’s two best players – Tony Carpio, the 6ft 8in senior who signed to play at the Citadel, and Chance Thacker, a standout guard who signed to play at Virginia Military Institute.

Senior center Dayyan O’Neal, who recently signed on to play football at Yale as a defensive lineman, did a good job defending Carpio while the team also contained Thacker, Johnson said.

Calvary (17-6) is expected to host King’s Ridge (26-4) on Tuesday or Wednesday in an Elite Eight game.

MCDONOUGH 69, BENEDICTIN 42

Benedictine, the 3-4A Region champion, saw his season end in a loss to visiting McDonough.

It was the end of a memorable season for the Cadets, who won the first regular season regional title since 2010 and finished the season with a 16-7 record.

Continued:The story behind the success of the Benedictine basketball team led by coach Frank Williams

The Cadets will be hurt by the graduations of regional co-player of the year Christiaan Neely and Jamel Mainer, but have a talented group returning led by Caleb Jones, who led the team in scoring and will be a second year student. year.

Girls basketball

Greater Atlanta Christian 67, Johnson 44

Johnson started strong, as the Atom Smashers led 15-8 after the first quarter. But Johnson has just six players on the roster, and foul issues have caught up with the Atom Smashers.

Amani Hamilton missed the third quarter after the senior star committed four fouls in the first half. She was whistled for her fifth with 7:30 to go and had to watch the rest of her final high school game from the bench. She finished with eight points.

Amani Hamilton of Johnson High School.

Here, younger sister Amayah Hamilton, a sophomore, scored a game-high 17 points, and senior K’Lya Hankerson had 13 points.

“It was tough to keep the girls motivated with the fouls we had tonight,” Johnson’s coach E’Lona Levett said in her first season at the helm of the program. “Amani (Hamilton) and K’Lya (Hankerson) have meant a lot to our program. They’re not just players to me, they’re like my kids. I want them to succeed on and off the pitch, and we We know it’s not the end for both of them. They will be able to play college basketball.

K'Lya Hankerson from Johnson High School.

HANCOCK 56, BRYAN COUNTY 48 (OT)

Anderia Jackson scored 21 points, Ashanti Brown scored 14 and Niyah Shuman scored 10 for Bryan County, which saw its season end in an overtime loss on the road in Class 2A Sweet 16.

Bryan County had a turnaround season – finishing with a 23-6 record.

BRADWELL 53, DACULA 45

The Tigers hit the road to knock out No. 1 seed Dacula with an impressive victory. Guard Junio ​​Taniyah Bowman led the way with 27 points and rookie Parris Parham added 16.

Bradwell improved to 22-5 and will be on the road to face Sequoyah (22-7) on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Dennis Knight covers sports for the Savannah Morning News. Contact him at [email protected] Twitter: @DennisKnightSMN