The South Atlanta boys had seen what happens when they let up against Grady, and they were having none it the second time around.
Friday night in their final regular-season home game, the Hornets continued to attack throughout and sprinted away for a 77-47 win over the visiting Knights.
The win sewed up the Region 6-AAAA Division B championship for South Atlanta (20-4, 9-1 sub-region) and avenged a 72-70 loss to the Knights on Jan. 15, a game in which South Atlanta led 40-15 late in the first half. It was the Hornets’ sixth consecutive win.
“Tonight we played our game,” said South Atlanta senior Naquavious King, who scored 24 points in the win. “We weren’t going to let up. It was attack, attack, attack.”
Kertiss Baisden scored 18 and Costa Anderson 13 for the Hornets.
King held one of the keys to the game. In what he described as an off night shooting, he managed just five points in the first contest against Grady. The Hornets also flipped the script on Grady guard Tyrius Walker, who was limited to a team-high 12 points Friday after scoring 20 in the first meeting.
South Atlanta seized control late in the first quarter. IAfter Grady’s Brandon Watkins scored to pull even at 12-all, the Hornets ripped off a 19-4 run that lasted into the second period and gave them a 31-15 lead.
It was the first of three times in the second period, they led by 16 points, but the Knights answered with a 9-2 run, cutting the lead to 38-29 by halftime.
Grady (17-7, 8-2) pulled within eight and stayed within striking distance for half the third period, and trailed 46-37 after Walker’s bucket at the 2:40 mark.
Any thoughts of a repeat comeback died there. South Atlanta closed the period on a 9-2 run and opened the fourth with a 12-2 stretch that put the game away.
“We stayed focused all the way through, that’s the main thing,” said South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick. “We knew them a little better this time. They knew what [Walker] did last game, so it was a conscious effort to make sure he didn’t get going.”
Brandon Watkins added 11 points for Grady.