Region tournament recap: Region 6-AAAA finals go overtime, Lithonia, Marist come out on top

The Region 6-AAAA tournaments ended with a pair of epic overtime games between top-10 teams Friday. Lithonia’s boys and Marist’s girls came out on top, each at the expense of St. Pius.

Lithonia’s boys, ranked No. 3, beat No. 4 St. Pius 51-49 in double overtime while Marist’s girls, ranked No. 7, beat No. 3 St. Pius 54-53 in one overtime. In the girls game, Marist’s Dominique Oden scored 33 of her team’s 54 points. St. Pius All-American Asia Durr scored 39 of her team’s 53 points.

Lithonia's boys are in the state playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Other highlights from region tournaments Friday:

-Region 6-AA's top seeds, both ranked No. 1 in the state, narrowly claimed region titles Friday night.

Pace Academy's boys held off No. 3 seed Greater Atlanta Christian 66-63, and earlier Holy Innocents' girls (27-0) edged third-ranked Wesleyan 43-41.

Shai Blanding scored with winning points on a pair of free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining. It was the Lady Bears' third win over Wesleyan this season, with the margins shrinking each successive game from 10 points, to six, to two.

Pace Academy likewise made it a three-game season sweep of GAC, though the Spartans appear to be surging late in the season. Their win over second-seeded Holy Innocents' in the semifinals will yield them at least one home game in the playoffs, starting next week.

-Four of Saturday’s region championship games in Class AAAAAA match ranked teams. Those would be No. 2 Parkview vs. No. 3 Archer in Region 7, No. 4 Mountain View vs. No. 9 Norcross in Region 7, No. 5 South Forsyth vs. No. 6 North Forsyth in Region 6 and No. 1 Osborne vs. No. 10 McEachern in Region 4. South Forsyth and North Forsyth split their regular-season games. In the other three matchups, the higher-ranked team swept the two games.

-The only boys championship game that matches ranked teams is No. 1 Wheeler vs. No. 7 Pope in Region 5 at Roswell. Wheeler won both regular-season games fairly comfortably but struggled Thursday in a 51-49 victory over Cherokee, which had a 3-point shot to win the semifinal game at the buzzer but missed.

-Two Class AAAAAA regions are finished. Tift County’s boys and girls are the Region 1 champions. The boys, the defending AAAAA champion and the No. 2-ranked team, was expected. The girls, seeded second in the region, beat No. 1 seed Valdosta. The Region 3 champions are Pebblebrook (boys) and Westlake (girls).

-One night after the top-seeded girls team (Columbus) lost in the Region 1-AAAAA semifinals on its home court, the No. 1 boys seed suffered the same fate. Regular-season champion Carver-Columbus was relegated to the consolation game with its 62-52 loss to fourth-seeded Harris County. The teams split their regular-season meetings, although Carver won 75-45 when they met on Jan. 31. Carver will play No. 3 seed Northside-Columbus in the consolation game at 4:30 p.m., and Harris County will meet No. 2 seed LaGrange in the championship game at 7:30 p.m.

-Brunswick swept the Region 3-AAAAA championships in the only Class AAAAA tournament that ended on Friday. The top-ranked girls team improved to 27-0 with a 51-50 victory over third-ranked Effingham County, which was the No. 2 seed. The top-seeded boys teams cruised to a 73-50 victory over No. 6 seed Coffee, which upset No. 2 seed Statesboro 72-66 in the semifinals.

-In 5-AAAAA, Lithia Springs girls team continued its surprising run, upsetting No. 2 seed Alexander 70-59 on Friday to reach the championship game against top-seeded Hiram on Saturday. Lithia Springs, seeded sixth in the tournament, was 12-12 during the regular season and 9-9 in region play but has won three consecutive games in the region tournament and will be at home in the first round of state.