Region 6-AAA boys: Woodward 46, St. Pius 41

The Woodward Academy boys made only one basket in the fourth quarter, but it was a strong defensive effort that made the difference at the end.

No. 8 Woodward Academy won its first region title since the 1996-97 season, when current coach Anthony Thomas played on the team as junior. The War Eagles turned back St. Pius 46-41 in the final of the Region 6-AAA championship game Friday at Decatur High School.

Woodward (23-5) led 37-27 after an 8-1 run, but Pius clawed its way back into the game and drew to within two points at 41-38 when Nick Harris converted a three-point play with 2:11 left. But Woodward’s cool guard Benji Russell came down and answered with a basket to stop the momentum and allow the War Eagles to prevail.

“That changed the momentum of the game. It changed it up,” Russell said. “This was a huge for our school and huge for us. I’m a senior and I had to step up.”

Russell finished with eight points. Woodward got 11 from Christian Harrison. St. Pius was led by Harris with 14 points.

“We had to execute our game plan,” Thomas said. “We knew we had to match their executive if we were going to win. And we made some free throws down the stretch. “ Woodward made 8 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 8 of 9 at one stretch.

Consolation game: Decatur 46, Cedar Grove 41

Decatur avenged two lopsided regular-season losses by spanking the Saints. The Bulldogs broke the game open by outscoring the Saints 14-5 in the third quarter. Murad Dillard scored 16 and Cordele Jackson had 12 points for Decatur.

5 comments Add your comment

Private

February 15th, 2013
11:18 pm

Nice write-up for the Academy FINALLY in the AJC. Great High School atmosphere at great High School Gym. Congrats to the Academy on the 1st Region Championship since 97! Shout out to a great group of kids and Coaches and kudos to Benji Russell for shutting down #10(great 3pt shooter) on the Pius team. Only got 3 points in the 1st half and nothing else the rest of the game. Hopefully we can string a few wins together in the playoffs!

asw

February 16th, 2013
9:50 am

The only problem with this article is that it wasn’t written by Winklejohn! Oh, but wait, Woodward won so he just didn’t have the words I guess. Great win for Woodward. Now the only question that remains in this rivalry is can Woodward win in baseball and make it a trifecta!

Richard Fitzpatrick

February 16th, 2013
9:57 am

As a former Woodward Academy faculty member, I am really proud of all of the Woodward players for a great win over St. Pius and for winning the region title. Best of luck for the rest of the season!

St Pius Fan

February 16th, 2013
1:22 pm

ASW ? Who went farther in football???? and who will win the all sports trophy ??? What happened to your girls team? See you on the Soccer field next Go Lions

asw

February 16th, 2013
4:34 pm

Well “St Pius Fan” what happened was we beat ya’ll in football too. Who went farther is irrelevant when it comes to the rivalry. 20-14 as a reminder and you probably still have last night’s 46-41 fresh on your mind. And who brings up soccer anyway? But since you did, we won the State last year. Where is Winklejohn when you need him the most to defend his favorite school?