The GC boys team sprinted to a 22-5 first-quarter lead and didn’t look back, coasting to a 65-26 rout of the Piedmont Academy Cougars Monday night in GISA Region 4-AA action at home.
No. 4 state-ranked GC won its sixth straight game to improve to 13-6 overall and 4-1 in region play while hard-luck Piedmont falls to 2-12, 1-3.
The Cougars were no match for GC at all. The game was tied at 2-2 when Griffin Christian’s intense pressure defense totally overwhelmed the Cougars, allowing the home team to embark on a 16-0 run to put the game away. Crusaders guards Amir Hightower and Jonathan Hammond had at least 5 straight steals between them in that big run which led to several fast-break baskets.
Crusaders head coach Mic Savage substituted his starters in the second quarter, but it didn’t matter. Aqil Gilani and Alec Marierose hit knockdown 3-pointers in the quarter to give the Crusaders a 32-5 lead and they cruised to a 40-12 halftime advantage.
With coach Savage subbing his players freely in the second half, the Crusaders basically worked on their basic sets and their defensive intensity. Every GC player who was able to play got in the game and the only question for the rest of the contest was how many players would score for the Crusaders.
Zach Briggs led Piedmont with 11 points. Aaron McCray led GC with 12 points and Gilani and Hightower added 11 each, with Hightower getting 5 steals. Hammond added 9 points, 3 assists and a team-high 6 steals, Taylor Dunn chipped in 6 points and led the team with 11 rebounds and Hunter Ott snagged 4 rebounds for GC, which travels to play region foe Harvester Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Piedmont 42, Griffin Christian 16 (girls): The Piedmont Academy Lady Cougars jumped out to a 14-4 first-quarter lead and led 27-8 at the half over a tired Griffin Christian girls team, rolling to a 42-16 blowout of the Lady Crusaders Monday evening in the early game.
GC lost its fifth straight game to fall to 7-11 overall and 1-4 in region play while Piedmont improves to 6-8, 3-1.
The Lady Crusaders, who played tough games last Friday (Flint River) and last Saturday (Mount de Sales), were just worn out against Piedmont on Monday. They couldn’t get anything going and Piedmont took full advantage of GC’s tired legs and kept up the pressure for the big win.
Brittany Foster led GC with 6 points and 13 rebounds, Chelsey Deaton led the team with 3 steals and Leyah Brown and Lily Hammond led GC with 2 assists each.
The Lady Crusaders will try and break their losing streak on the road at Harvester Friday at 6 p.m.