GISA BOYS STATE TOURNEY ROUNDUP: Sherwood falls in 4OT thriller; TAE, Westwood knocked out

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

DOUGLAS -- What can you say about a game that features four overtimes, a billion lead changes and Sherwood's best player breaking his arm?

"It hurts," SCA boys coach Matt Ruta said of Saturday's 89-83 quadruple OT loss to LaGrange in the GISA Class AA State Tournament.

And in Wesley Pittman's case, quite literally.

Pittman, the Eagles' leading scorer all year, dove for a loose ball with under six minutes to go but landed awkwardly and within seconds, the SCA training staff knew it was fractured, Ruta said.

The Eagles were down 10 points at the time, but fought back to tie the game in the final seconds and force overtime. From there, it took two last-seconds SCA shots in OTs Nos. 1 and No. 2 -- the first by Gary Holloway, the second by Terrence Burnette -- to force the third overtime.

"That third OT," Ruta began," I really thought we had it won."

Instead, LaGrange hit a last-second shot of its own with four ticks to play to force a fourth overtime.

By then, five of SCA's top eight players had fouled out, not including Pittman, who never returned. Ruta said the trainer put his arm in a sling and was told it was a "clean break, and that he would be OK."

Instead, LaGrange sank its free throws down the stretch -- going 31-42 for the game to SCA's dismal 6-for-26 -- and sealed the win.

Holloway led all scorers with 23 points, followed by John Schramm with 22, including six 3-pointers by Schramm in the fist half.

But unfortunately for Eagles fans, SCA's season ends right where it did last year: the state quarters.

Sherwood also loses seven seniors, but finishes the year 20-7.

"This has been a fun group to coach," Ruta said. "We faced some adversity early in the season and the kids could've just given up. But they didn't and we've now posted back-to-back 20-win seasons. I'm very proud of that."

Sherwood, however, will move back to Class AAA next season, joining local schools Deerfield and Southland.


Covenant waxes Westwood

DOUGLAS -- The lowest seed remaining in the GISA Class A boys state tournament, the Westwood Wildcats, finally saw its Cinderella run end Saturday at the hands of Covenant Christian, 57-41, despite a big game from Mason Jones (18 points).

The Wildcats, which were trying to get back to the Final Four in boys hoops for the first since the mid 1980s, finish the season well below .500 at 9-14, but based on its state tourney run, numbers are clearly deceiving.

"Well, all year we just had so many close ball games that easily could've gone the other way," first-year coach Al Timmerman said. "The record is what it is, but I think (our entire team) feels good about this season."

The Wildcats found themselves down by double digits at halftime and could never recover. At one point between the middle of the first quarter and middle of the second, Timmerman said his team failed to even score a basket.

"It was disappointing, but we came up against a good program," he said.

Westwood will lose three seniors -- Andrew Adams, the Wildcats' leading scorer all season, and Mitch Bernier and Christopher Tomlinson.


FPCA foils TAE's state title run

DOUGLAS -- Like 26 teams before them have, Terrell Academy found out just exactly how good First Presbyterian Christian Academy was Saturday.

Terrell, which finishes the year 18-5 -- its best record in five years -- was walloped, 64-39, by the two-time defending Class A champs, which hold the honor as being the only team beat the Eagles' Southwest Georgia neighbor, DWS, all season.

Riley Davis led the Eagles with 14 points, followed by Jonathan Farr's 13.

"The kids were down, especially the seniors after such a good year," coach Rundy Foster said. "But we basically just lost to three teams all year."

TAE lost to Fullington Academy three times, DWS once and then FPCA on Saturday.

The Eagles will lose three seniors starters, including Davis, Caleb White and Nick Beaver.

"But we've also got a pretty good crew coming back," Foster said.