Grace advances in state tourney

Published 7:16 pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Grace Christian Academy Cougars basketball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the GISA Class A Tournament, defeating Thomas Jefferson Academy 34-31 on Thursday evening at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga.

Grace’s Phillip Bowen hit a three-pointer from just inside the halfcourt line at the buzzer to give the Cougars the win.

Grace, the No. 3 seed from Region 3-A, was scheduled to play Region 4-A No. 1 seed Dawson Street School on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., at ABAC. Dawson Street advanced with a 74-45 win over Twiggs Academy.

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Grace coach Steve Murr said Thursday’s game was a defensive battle, with the Cougars leading just 16-8 at halftime.

With 5.2 seconds remaining and the score tied 31-31, Thomas Jefferson tried to inbound the ball under their goal after a timeout. However, the ball was knocked loose by Grace’s Bryce McQuaid, and Bowen picked up the loose ball. Bowen managed to take three dribbles before shooting the buzzer-beating game-winner, Murr said.

Bowen and Jack McRae both had 13 points to lead the Cougars. Bryce McQuaid and Brent Noble each scored four points.

Jonathan Hawthorne led Thomas Jefferson, the No. 2 seed from Region 1-A, with 14 points.