A pair of top-10 girls teams will clash in the Region 8 final on Saturday at Hart County. No. 6 North Oconee (24-3) and No. 8 East Hall (24-3) both battled their way into the championship game.
North Oconee won its 14th straight game, tying a school record, as Ginny Channell scored 13 points in a 54-51 win over Rabun County. Channell scored the go-ahead basket and Brooke Hubbard, who scored 11, made two free throws with 15 seconds left to ice the win.
East Hall got 15 points from Jasmine Jenkins and 14 from Morgan Jackson to beat Union County 47-38.
In the boys tournament, Dawson County (22-6) upset No. 8 East Hall 71-59 in the semifinal and will play Jefferson for the region title. Dawson County was led by Gunnar Armstrong’s 19 points, with Bruce Clark scoring 14. J.C. Hampton scored 30 for East Hall (20-7).
Jefferson (19-8) got 22 points from Austin Thomas and beat Rabun County 81-75. Andre Daniel added 17 and Will Puckett scored 15 for the Dragons.
Albany derails Thomasville boys
The No. 4 Albany boys won their first region title since 2005, beating three-time defending Region 1 champion Thomasville 44-39 in the final.
Larry Sanford and Tim Pierce each scored 15 points for Albany (23-2), but it was the inspired play of guard Kenny Anderson that made the difference. Anderson had 10 rebounds, made an important 3-pointer, blocked a shot and came up with back-to-back steals to spark the fourth-quarter surge. Anderson also made two clutch free throws in the waning seconds to ice the game.
Willie Clayton had 11 points and nine rebounds and Greg Wimberly had 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead Thomasville (18-7).
In the girls tournament, Brooks County (21-6) beat Thomasville 74-56 in the title game.
GAC boys win at buzzer
The Greater Atlanta Christian boys came from behind to beat Decatur in the Region 6 semifinal, beating the Bulldogs 48-47 on Collin Swinton’s last-second layup. The No. 2-ranked Spartans (22-5) trailed by as many as eight in the last quarter. Delano Spencer scored 13 and Swinton had 12 to lead GAC.
Decatur (13-14) got 18 points from Desmond Tuft, but shots itself in the foot by making only 4 of 12 free throws in the last quarter.
In the other boys semifinal, A.J. Davis scored a career-high 32 and had 10 rebounds as Buford (20-6) beat South Atlanta 61-53.
In the girls tournament, No. 3 Buford (20-7) beat GAC (18-8) for the third time this season, 51-39. Kristina Nelson scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds and Andraya Carter added 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Wolves will play No 5 Lovett (23-4) in the championship game. The Lions defeated No. 7 Decatur 41-33 in the other semifinal game.
Model girls win 23rd straight
The No. 1-ranked Model girls won their 23rd straight, beating No. 9 Dade County 48-37 in the Region 7 semifinal at Dalton. The Blue Devils (25-1) were led by Timia Reynolds with 16 points and Carla Clemmons with 15. Ansley Chilton scored 13 for Dade County (23-4).
Calhoun (22-4) overpowered River Ridge 47-29 in the other semifinal thanks to a strong defensive effort. The Yellow Jackets were paced by Taylor Palmer with 18 points. River Ridge (20-9) got 14 points from Taylor Livesay.
Cole Birchfield scored 24 points to put Dade County in the Region 7 boys final with a 70-58 win over Calhoun. Dade (22-5) took control in the final period, outscoring Calhoun 22-16. Clay Johnson scored 14 for Calhoun (11-17).
In the other semifinal, Coosa (23-4) got 18 points from Slade Shumate and 17 from Tyler Bradley and dispatched North Murray 59-53. North (20-9) was led by Zach Vess with 16.
Region 2 at Brewton Parker
Girls consolation: Appling Co. vs. Vidalia, 3 p.m.
Boys consolation: Toombs Co. vs. Appling Co., 4:30 p.m.
Girls championship: Jeff Davis vs. Tattnall Co., 6 p.m.
Boys championship: Vidalia vs. Long Co., 7:30 p.m.
Region 3 at Dodge County
Girls consolation: Screven Co. vs. Dodge Co., 4 p.m.
Boys consolation: Dodge Co. vs. East Laurens, 5:30 p.m.
Girls championship: Laney vs. Dublin, 7 p.m.
Boys championship: Laney vs. Bleckley Co., 8:30 p.m.
Region 4 at Morgan County
Girls consolation: Southwest Macon vs. Northeast Macon, 4 p.m.
Boys consolation: Northeast Macon vs. Crawford County, 5:30 p.m.
Girls championship: Morgan Co. vs. Putnam Co., 7 p.m.
Boys championship: Morgan Co. vs. Putnam Co., 8:30 p.m.
Region 6 at Decatur
Girls consolation: GAC vs. Decatur, 2 p.m.
Boys consolation: South Atlanta vs. Decatur, 3:30 p.m.
Girls championship: Lovett vs. Buford, 5 p.m.
Boys championship: GAC vs. Buford, 6:30 p.m.
Region 7 at Dalton Trade Center
Girls consolation: River Ridge vs. Dade Co., 5:30 p.m.
Boys consolation: Calhoun vs. North Murray, 4 p.m.
Girls championship: Calhoun vs. Model, 8:30 p.m.
Boys championship: Dade Co. vs. Coosa, 7 p.m.
Region 8 at Hart County
Girls consolation: Union Co. vs. Rabun Co., 4 p.m.
Boys consolation: East Hall vs. Rabun Co., 5:30 p.m.
Girls championship: East Hall vs. North Oconee, 7 p.m.
Boys championship: Dawson Co. vs. Jefferson, 8:30 p.m.