Cougars’ season comes to an end with loss in second round

Published 6:18 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016

By Joe Crine
Sports Editor

The GISA Region 3-AA basketball champion Grace Christian Academy Cougars, advanced to the second round of the State Class AA Tournament at the Bainbridge State College Wellness Center.

In their final game on Saturday against the Memorial Day School Marauders from Savannah the Cougars were downed by seven 44-37. They led 8-6 at the end of the first, but couldn’t hold onto the lead and trailed 27-23 at halftime.

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Noah Thomas hit two free throws to open the second quarter cutting the Marauders lead to 27-23 at halftime. They trailed 33-29 after three quarters. Noah Thomas, who led the Cougars in scoring with 25 points, hit a three point jumper from the left baseline midway through the fourth quarter to cut the Marauders’ lead to ten after Memorial Day pulled away early in the quarter. Jack McRae was also in double figures with 15.

Coach Mallory McRae said he liked the way his team hung in and batted

“We gave a 100-percent effort on both ends of the court, and that is all I can ask,” he said.

The Cougars nailed down the Region championship, the first boys’ basketball region championship in school history, with a 54-37 victory over Valdosta’s Highland Christian Academy Eagles Friday, Feb. 19, at the Bainbridge State College Wellness Center.

Following their Region 3-AA championship victory over Highland Christian, the Cougars defeated the fourth seeded Brandon Hall School Panthers of Atlanta 55-32 in the first round of the State Class AA Tournament.

The Cougars finish the season 18-7 overall. They also went 9-1 in region play. McRae was named the region 3-AA coach of the year after leading his team to the region championship.