Round 3 roundup: Central-Macon girls make history, Columbia boys look to avoid it

Semifinals to be played Saturday at Georgia College
High school basketball on wood.

High school basketball on wood.

The Final Four is set, and the boys and girls tournaments resume at Georgia College in Milledgeville on Saturday. On the girls’ side, it’s No. 3 Central-Macon (26-4) vs. No. 2 Josey (27-3) and unranked Murray County (24-6) vs. No. 1 Mount Paran Christian (27-3). On the boys’ side, it’s No. 4 Toombs County (28-2) vs. No. 3 Butler (24-6) and No. 5 Columbia vs. No. 1 Westside-Augusta.

Central’s girls and Columbia’s boys are spotlighted for this round’s roundup.



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After reaching the quarterfinals in each of the past two seasons, the Central Chargers are in the semifinals for the first time in program history by fending off Columbia at home, 44-37.

Senior Alaya Grane had 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals to lead the Chargers, and senior Aniya Dugger had 12 points, three rebounds and three steals. Junior Frances Anyakudo had 10 rebounds.

The Chargers are in the Final Four despite losing two of their best players, seniors Taliah Grier and Tayelor Davis, to season-ending injuries in January.

“It’s bittersweet because of our seniors who are injured and can’t be on the court,” Chargers coach Tamara Bolston-Williams said. “You start something at the beginning of the season, and you set your goal of reaching the state championship, and you never know what’s going to happen in between. But getting to this point is us tying everything together, how far we’ve come, the wins and losses, the ups and downs. We’re continuing to drive forward.”

The Chargers took control of the game against Columbia on Tuesday, jumping to a lead that dwindled in the third quarter, where they only scored six points. They would rebound in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

“We figured it out,” Bolston-Williams said. “There were some close games earlier that came into play, as far as our composure, that led to the win. This is the same point in the season that we lost to Banks County (last year in the quarterfinals), and we were determined not to feel that this time.”

Josey is next. The Eagles have had semifinal finishes each of the last two seasons after winning 2A in 2021.

“They’re a traditional powerhouse,” Bolston-Williams said. “When you mention the Baldwins, the Bufords, the Graysons, you have to mention those Augusta area schools. You’ll always find them making deep playoffs. We have to respect this opportunity and not take it for granted. That’s what I think about with Josey and and all of those schools, and we’re excited to be here as well.”

In the summer, Bolston-Williams took the Chargers to Georgia College to scrimmage, so they’re familiar with the court.

“We made it our business to let them know this is where they’ll be playing in the semifinals, so you need to see what it’s going to be like.”



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For the third year in a row, the Columbia Eagles’ road to a championship must go through Westside-Augusta. After losing to the Patriots in last year’s semifinals and the second round in 2022, the Eagles are hoping for a different outcome this year.

The Eagles beat Southwest-Macon 55-34 Wednesday, leading 29-7 at halftime, according to Mark Brock of DCSD sports.

A request for comment was sent to Eagles coach Phil McCrary, and this post will be updated should he become available.