Tied at halftime, Peachtree Ridge blew the game open during the first 6 minutes of the third quarter, opening a double-digit lead en route to a 67-60 win at Shiloh in the second round of the Class AAAAAA Tournament.
Coming out of halftime, the Lions were clearly the aggressor, taking the ball to the basket against the Generals (22-7) and scoring their first 10 third-quarter points on layups.
Over the first 5:57 of the third quarter, Peachtree Ridge (21-9) went on a 14-1 run, capped by an Aaron Augustin 3-pointer that stretched the lead to 43-30, the largest of the game for either team.
Peachtree Ridge coach Keith Arrington said he wanted his team to come out of halftime and stay grounded, and the message appeared to pay off.
“I told them, ‘All right, let’s play in the moment. Don’t start looking, are we gonna have a chance to win? Just play every play one at a time,” Arrington said. “Don’t look ahead. In the moment, that’s what we want.”
The Lions would never again lead by fewer than 5, though it wasn’t clear sailing to the end.
The biggest obstacle – literally and figuratively – to the Lions’ victory may have been 7-foot Trayvon Reed, Shiloh’s mountain in the paint who can vastly alter any opponent’s inside game.
While he did have an almost inevitable 17 rebounds, he only had 9 points and 4 blocks, as the Lions used what size they have – typically 6-foot-8 Amir Warnock – to make life tougher on Reed out on the perimeter.
“We kind of stayed one on one in the post and tried to push him out far enough that he couldn’t just turn and shoot it,,” Arrington said. “He was always out two or three steps. He never got it on the block.”
That helped allow the Lions to outrebound Shiloh 44-39, and it also didn’t hurt that Peachtree Ridge hit eight 3-pointers to keep the Shiloh defense from packing it in to the paint.
But it was going to take free throws to win it down the stretch. Peachtree Ridge started the game 3 of 10 from the line but made 10 of 13 in the final 3:55 to hold off the Generals.
Nate Mason had a game-high 20 points for Shiloh. Jordan Capps led the Lions with 18.