Prep Basketball: Lady Hawks advance to 1-AAA GISA championshipFrom Staff Reports
MARIETTA — Fresh off respective victories in the first round of the Region 1-AAA basketball tournament to clinch berths in next week’s GISA State Tournament, The Heritage School’s girls took things one step further on Tuesday.
The Lady Hawks held Atlanta Girls School to two points for the entire second half, finishing with 25 defensive rebounds to go with 14 steals in a 30-14 victory that puts Heritage School in Thursday’s 1-AAA championship game against Loganville Christian, which upset No. 1 seeded Holy Spirit 40-30.
Tied at 50, Heritage School had a basket called off in the final seconds, allowing the Knights to take advantage on their final possession. The third-seeded Hawks (18-6) will play No. 4 The Weber School in Thursday’s third-place game for seeding in the Class AAA tournament.
After finishing 7-14 and 6-11 over back-to-back seasons, Heritage School's girls improved to 12-9 following consecutive tournament wins on Monday and Tuesday. After clinching a state berth with a 59-22 first-round victory over No. 6 Weber’s girls, the third-seeded Lady Hawks received 10 points and 13 rebounds from Elizabeth Massenberg while smothering Atlanta Girls in the second half defensively.
Massenberg had 10 of Heritage School's 25 defensive rebounds while hitting 5 of her 11 attempts from the field. Leading 18-12 at halftime, the team outscored second-seeded Atlanta Girls 4-0 in the third quarter and finished on an 8-2 run in the final period to advance.
Chase Parker added six points and two steals while Maggie Crosby and Lillie Smith had four points apiece. Smith led Heritage School with four steals and Michaela Cushing and Crosby had three apiece.
Both Loganville Christian’s girls and the Lady Hawks finished the regular season with 5-5 records in 1-AAA, but have heated up at the right time. Loganville knocked off Holy Spirit, which went unbeaten in region play. The teams split two previous meetings, with Heritage School winning 44-40 on Jan. 25 and Loganville earning a 59-35 victory on Feb. 4.
The Hawks meanwhile, try to regroup in Thursday’s third-place game for seeding after starting the week off strong. Heritage School dominated Trinity Christian 58-28 in Monday’s opening contest against the No. 6 seeded Lions (4-19) while getting points from 11 players led by nine apiece from Tyler Henson and A.J. Gainwell.
Gainwell, a sophomore, added 15 on Tuesday against Dominion to go along with freshman Spencer Perry’s team-high 18, but it wasn’t enough while shooting just 28-percent as a team from the floor.
Senior center Garrett Jones finished with seven points and a team-high seven rebounds in the loss. A 21-4 run by Dominion in the third quarter took all the momentum away from the Hawks, who had built a 28-20 lead at halftime.
Heritage School's boys outscored Dominion 18-12 in the closing period having handed the Knights (18-2) its first region loss during the regular season. Dominion won the final two meetings between teams.
Trinity Christian’s girls, seeded fifth, were eliminated from state playoff contention on Monday in a 42-34 loss to Loganville.