Class 4A Blog: Pace boys heat up in second half to return to No. 1

Pace Academy boys basketball coach Sharman White was named a head coach for the 2024 McDonald's All-Star games in Houston.

Credit: Pace Academy

Credit: Pace Academy

Pace Academy boys basketball coach Sharman White was named a head coach for the 2024 McDonald's All-Star games in Houston.

Pace Academy returned to the top of Class 4A by avenging last week’s 63-59 loss to McDonough with a 79-57 win over the Warhawks on Saturday. The Knights went into the half tied up 29-29 and then outscored McDonough 50-28 in the second half. In the first meeting of the season, visiting McDonough jumped out to a 26-14 lead in the opening quarter and struggled offensively with just 1-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Pace Academy also went 12-of-23 from the free throw line in the loss and committed 10 team turnovers.

This Saturday, by contrast, Pace Academy went 12-of-25 from three-point range. That is eleven more made three pointers in Saturday’s victory. The team also shot 13-of-19 from the foul line and racked up 22 total assists. On the boys side, Westover has won eight-straight games and can clinch the top seed in the region next week on Feb. 2 at Cairo. The Patriots previously defeated Cairo 52-46 at home on Jan. 12 and there is just one game separating the two rivals. In Region 2, Baldwin’s only two losses during their 18-2 season came to Class 6A Lee County and Class A Division II No. 1 ranked Greenforest Christian. In region play, Baldwin can clinch the top seed on Friday against Griffin.

This past week’s most anticipated top 10 boys matchup was played on Friday as Region 5 rivals Pace Academy and McDonough met for the first time this season. Both teams headed into this matchup with undefeated region records and undefeated records within Class 4A. Pace Academy hosted Friday’s clash and then the action moves to McDonough on Jan. 27. The result was McDonough pulling out a 63-59 victory and stamping its seventh-straight victory and improving to 18-2 overall. The visiting Warhawks jumped out to a 26-14 lead after the first quarter and went into the half with a 35-26 lead. McDonough preserved its nine-point lead after the third to hold on to a 49-40 lead and then closed out the four-point victory.

McDonough’s Keenan Gray led the Warhawks with a game-high 18 points and junior Zion Greene finished with 17 points. 6-foot-9 junior Nathadeus Fambro added 11 points and went 5-of-5 shooting from the field. Gray added eight assists with just one turnover and McDonough won despite just taking eight trips to the foul line (5-of-8) and Pace Academy attempting 23 total free-throws (12-23). Pace Academy was also cold from beyond the arc and connected on just 1-of-12 attempts, while McDonough finished 6-of-20 from three-point range. Pace Academy was led in scoring by Eric Chatfield (15), MJ Madison (15), Lamar Moore (11), Chandler Bing (10) and Kyle Greene (8).

On the girls side, Fayette County extended its win-streak to seven-straight and improved to 13-3 overall and 7-0 in Region 4 this weekend. On Friday, the Tigers completed their sweep of rival Starr’s Mill by stamping a 56-40 road win. They followed that with a 58-41 win over Sandy Creek on Saturday and then scored a 59-40 win over North Clayton this Monday.

One of the other significant region battles featured Holy Innocents’, which scored an 81-36 win over Westminster to maintain the top spot in Region 6. The loss moved Southwest DeKalb to No. 2 in the standings and the Panthers still have matchups with Westminster and Holy Innocents’ to maintain a top 2 seed.

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