Spartans too much for Panthers

Glenn Hills' Terrell Fitts (left) tries to wrestle the ball away from Lakeside's A.J. Bennett.

Glenn Hills coach Travis McRae burned a timeout early during his team's Region 3-AAAA quarterfinal game with Lakeside on Thursday.


The bigger, faster Spartans were having their way, but McRae did not like how they were handling it.

One dunk had been canceled by a traveling violation and another dunk attempt ended with the ball stuffed by the center of the rim.

"We don't need showtime," McRae hollered during the timeout. "We need points."

The second-seeded Spartans responded by handling their business in a 65-42 victory over the region's No. 7 team. Glenn Hills advanced to play Evans in today's semifinals.

"They tried to be crowd-pleasers," McRae said. "We gave away six or eight easy points."

Lakeside, vying for its first boys basketball playoff berth, was overmatched inside. Limiting turnovers, boxing out and knocking down 3-pointers are key with the Panthers' personnel. Without Khadi Tshishiku, an athletic senior injured during a victory over Cross Creek, the task was more difficult.

And the Spartans' pressure denied the Panthers the rhythm they needed to execute their offense. Lakeside converted all 18 of its free throws, but went 0-for-15 from beyond the arc.


Evans closed the first half on a 10-1 run to give it the cushion it needed to absorb Grovetown's final-minute charge.

Troy Griffith scored a game-high 16 points to help the Knights prevail even though Grovetown held them to their lowest point total of the season.

"Everybody's fighting for their lives, because everyone wants to go to the state tournament," said Evans coach Kevin Kenny, whose team never trailed in the second half and clinched a spot in the state tournament. "That's what we told our kids."


Desmond Lofland scored 16 points as the state's No. 2 team won its 23rd consecutive game.

Richmond Academy led by five at halftime after trailing most of the previous 16 minutes against the tournament's ninth seed.

"I knew Butler was going to come and play hard ... they were going to come and hit us in the mouth," Richmond Academy coach Steven Nobles said.

"We were out of rhythm in the first half, and you have to credit them."



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