GISA Region 1-AAA

Second-half struggles doom Hawks in semifinals

by Chris Goltermann

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Heritage School sophomore Cole Jones gets a good look at the basket for putting up a shot during Tuesday's GISA Region 1-AAA semifinal game against No. 2 seed Dominion Christian. The Hawks, seeded third, were unable to continue their early momentum from the first half in a 71-51 loss. The Crusaders used spurts of seven and 12 points in the third quarter to pull away after trailing by four at halftime. Dominion will play No. 1 seed Loganville Christian in Thursday's 8:30 p.m.

championship game while Heritage will play Community Christian in the 5:30 p.m. third-place game at home.
 

With the prize of at least one more game in its brand-new gym for a firstround state basketball playoff game on the line, The Heritage School boys team headed up the ramp at halftime of Tuesday's Region 1-AAA semifinal against visiting Dominion Christian with those hopes still very much intact.

The final trip off their home floor, however, wasn't nearly as satisfying.

Leading by four at halftime and keeping Crusaders guard Jordan Dorsey contained in the second quarter, the Hawks looked in control at the break only to see it unravel into a 71-51 loss.

After being held to a pair of free throws in the second quarter, Dorsey converted six points in the third and 11 more in the fourth - the majority on free throws - for a game high 29 points to lead No. 2 seed Dominion into Thursday's 1-AAA boys championship against top-seed Loganville Christian.

Tournament host Heritage will now try to finish strong in 1-AAA's third-place game against Community Christian after looking unstoppable for its first six periods of the tournament.

Coming off Monday's 56-42 win over No. 6 seed Holy Spirit to clinch a berth in the GISA state tournament, the Hawks found their stride in the second period against Dominion, converting key free throws and getting a pair of 3-pointers from Glavin Groover to break a 18-18 deadlock after one quarter.

Dominion was coming off Monday's victory over Trinity Christian that ended its 2013-14 season. The Lions were missing two starters while junior Christian Downs, coming off an injury, played sparingly in the loss.

Cole Jones had five of his teamhigh 13 points in the second quarter while Groover connected on two of his four 3-pointers while adding 12 in the loss.

But ahead 31-27 at halftime, Heritage went cold at the worst possible time. Dominion scored the opening seven points of the third quarter, taking a lead for good.

Rich Yancey, who kept Heritage in the game early with seven of his team's first 18 points, fed Jones for a basket inside to pull within a 37-36 deficit after Dominion's third-quarter run.

Dorsey followed by dribbling past two Hawks defenders along the baseline for a layup. After two missed Heritage free-throws, Crusaders center Luke Lewallan connected inside with just under three minutes remaining and following a turnover, Dominion junior Sheldon Robyck connected on a 3-pointer to continue a similar 12-0 run for the Crusaders that left the Hawks trailing 49-36.

Third-seeded Heritage will now look to improve its seeding for the GISA Class AAA tournament in Thursday's 1-AAA consolation final at 5:30 p.m. against No. 1 Loganville Christian.

Yancey, who finished with 11 points, was coming off Monday's team-high 16 point effort against Holy Spirit on 46-percent shooting. Jones had seven points and 10 rebounds.



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