Class 4A Blog: McDonough outclasses Pace, Griffin, Luella, Holy Innocents’ girls gain region ground

The two top-ranked boys teams squared off in the first of two region showdowns this month on Friday and the McDonough Warhawks celebrated a 71-60 victory over visiting Pace Academy. Both teams entered the game without a loss within the classification and No. 1 McDonough kept its slate clean with a strong showing over the No. 2 ranked Knights. In the victory, McDonough rallied after a four-point deficit in the first half and junior Keenan Gray led the way with a career-high 26 points.

Senior Avante Nichols (15), Da’Avion Thomas (18) and sophomore Nigel Thomas (6) also contributed offensively and the team finished the night 50 percent shooting from the field, 42 percent from beyond the arc and a perfect 9-of-9 at the foul line. Pace Academy will look to avenge the loss this Saturday at home, while McDonough gets set to face Lovett on Tuesday in another top 10 showdown with a Region 5 counterpart and Class 4A newcomer. Lovett is coming off an 84-66 win over Mt. Zion on Friday. Additionally, Westover picked up a 64-60 win over Shaw. The Patriots will have a major home contest against Bainbridge on Friday after previously falling to the Bearcats 54-50 on Jan. 6.

The other big results over the weekend came with Southwest DeKalb defeating Miller Grove 55-43 and Bainbridge scoring a big 53-49 overtime win over Cairo to extend its win-streak to 16-straight and improve to 19-1 overall. Like McDonough, Bainbridge remains undefeated in Class 4A with its lone loss coming to Class 7A Lowndes (47-46) on Dec. 3.

On the girls side, Griffin continues to dominate the Region 2 and picked up an 84-36 win over Spalding to improve to 7-0 in region play. The win over the Jags came on the heels of a 56-37 win over West Laurens Friday night. Last year’s state runner-up Luella kept its record against 4A opponents flawless on Friday with a massive 89-15 win over Hampton. Additionally, Holy Innocents’ picked up a 67-54 win over Westminster on Friday to avenge its 55-51 loss to the Wildcats back on Dec. 6 and now both teams are tied with 9-1 records at the top of the Region 6 standings.