GISA No. 4 state-ranked Griffin Christian won its fourth straight game and 14 of its last 15 games to finish the regular season as the region’s top seed, clinching an automatic state-playoff berth this year. GC improves to 21-7 overall and 11-1 in region play while hard-luck Harvester remains winless at 0-21, 0-12.
It was Senior Night at GC and two of the three Crusaders seniors — Jairus Bethel and David Thomas — scored 13 of the team’s 15 points in the first quarter as they took a 15-8 lead after one quarter of play. Crusaders head coach Mic Savage started his seniors (Hunter Ott was the third senior) and then substituted freely throughout the game in a good display of sportsmanship against a Harvester team which relies heavily on inexperienced young players this year.
The GC seniors got the ball rolling early and the younger players took control of the game after that. GC’s Micah Mitchell, Alec Marierose and Aaron McCray all sank 3-pointers in the second quarter to boost the Crusaders to the big 36-13 halftime lead. Miller still had the hot hand in the third quarter, sinking 3 of 4 treys to increase the Crusaders lead even further and delight the home crowd at the same time. GC took a 55-22 lead into the fourth period and the Crusaders coasted the rest of the way.
Mitchell led all scorers with 15 points (5 of 7 treys) and Thomas scored 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Bethel added 9 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals and Ott chipped in 6 points and 3 rebounds. Jamison Arnold led Harvester with 8 points and Dillon Alred added 7.
“I like the way we are playing. At the beginning of the season, we had chemistry issues but now we all know our rotation roles and we’re a lot better,” said Thomas. “Now we’ve got to focus on winning the region tournament and the state championship.”
The Crusaders start region tournament play Feb. 14 at Flint River Academy in Woodbury, Ga. They will face either LaGrange Academy or Flint River at 8:30 p.m.