Thursday, March 6, 2008

Class 1A Finals preview

From Score Atlanta reporter Jason Boral:

Down-to-the-wire finishes, this was the only thing missing from the Class A boys basketball tournament up until Wednesday night. Now, that’s something you can scratch off the list. Five points in two games is what separated the winners and losers in the Final Four in Macon, Ga.

First up to the plate was Portal and Hancock Central. Bulldogs star Kammeon Holsey scored 32 points and led Hancock Central to a great start which earned them an 11-point halftime lead. In the second half, with the help of the sharp shooting of Thomas Busby (six 3-pointers), Portal pulled ahead of Hancock. Portal then committed two fouls, one offensive and defensive, in the last 30 seconds to allow Hancock to tie the game and create overtime. In overtime, Hancock went 7 of 12 from the charity stripe to win 87-84.

The next game, while not going into overtime, brought the most excitement as the reigning A champions Wilkinson County fell to Turner County 52-50. Turner County turned up the defense and held the Warriors to their lowest point-total in two years. Demetrius Ewing led the way with 19 points. It will be exciting to see how Turner tries to stop big Holsey in the finals on Saturday.

On the girls side, the results were a little less surprising, but did set up a match any Georgia basketball fan will be excited for. Possibly the best player in the state, Monshay Thomas, led Terrell County, scoring 19 points and securing a 56-49 victory over SW Atlanta. Her play single-handedly brought the Greenwaves into the finals as she pushed her team passed poor free throw shooting and rebounding.

On the other side of the bracket, the prototypical team will be looking to knock off Thomas in her swan song as a high school player. Calvary Day was carried by Katie Covington who scored 29 in the 50-37 victory over Towns County. Although Covington was the focal point here, Calvary has one of the most balanced all-around squads and plays great defense. The finals will match the will of one team versus the talent of another.

Jason Boral can be reached at