Sunday, March 2, 2008

4A semifinal preview

From Score Atlanta reporter Fletcher Proctor:

As the field just eliminated four elite teams from the boys side as well as the girls side, the teams remaining still stand because of outstanding players. In the case of Miller Grove, 6-foot-2 junior Mfon Udofia hoisted the Wolverines onto his back as he tossed in 25 points and helped his squad advance past Lithia Springs and into the Final Four. Meanwhile it wasn’t Fayette County junior Noel Johnson, but rather senior Cuincy Carruthers that helped the Tigers achieve their first-ever semifinals appearance.

As for the other side of the bracket, high school basketball fans will get to see No. 1 Westlake and Raymond Willis take on No. 2 Columbia and Travis Leslie. Columbia advanced to Gwinnett Arena by pressuring Wake Forest-bound Tony Woods and Rome into a 69-51 defeat. Westlake is counting its blessings, surviving a wild one-point quarterfinal victory over Riverdale. Gideon Gamble will be the key for Westlake in the semifinal as most of the opposition’s attention will be focused on the future Boomer Sooner Willis.

For the ladies, youth was served as Fayette County secured its first Final Four appearance with a win over Tai Brown and Northside-Warner Robins. Sophomore Anma Onyeuku scored 14 in the victory and junior Tessa Holt did a little bit of everything with six points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. They will face junior Courtney Freeman and Madison County at Gwinnett Arena; the Red Raiders knocked off Mays in the quarterfinals. Sade Means and Mays fell behind and could not combat the impressive performance by Dan Lampe’s squad.

The other game will pit No. 1 Southwest DeKalb, still seeking its first state title, against No. 3 Westlake. Westlake was impressive in blowing out Baldwin 66-40 in the quarterfinals, but the Lady Panthers of SW DeKalb are very imposing, as they sport two regular 20-point scorers. Charenee Stephens notched 21 points and 15 rebounds in the 74-63 win over Clarke Central, and Kayla Lewis added 20.

Proctor can be reached at