Cougars advance in state tourney, girls eliminated

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Grace Christian Academy Cougars and Lady Cougars basketball team had a nail biting game during the first round of the state tournament Friday night.

The GCA boys won 66-62 against an undefeated Highland team, with junior Jaylen Jones scoring an amazing 26 points.

GCA came out strong in the first period, scoring 18 points with Highland only scoring 8 points. Highland came back strong in the second period, scoring 18 points, but GCA stayed with them, scoring 19 points. After halftime, Highland was chomping at the bit ready to win. They scored 18 points in the third period and 18 points in the fourth period. GCA scored 12 points and 17 respectively.

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Jones lead the team, making 10 two-pointers and two three-pointers. In addition to that, Jones had two offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds.

He made one steal and had two assists. Senior, Sam McRae also came out strong, scoring 17 points for the team. He made six two-pointers and one three-pointer. He went 2-for-6 at the free throw line, and helped make two offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds. He had one steal and one assist. Junior, De’Andre Rogers was behind McRae, putting in work with 15 points.

He made every shot he took Friday night, scoring five two-pointers, one three-pointer and going two-for-two at the free throw line. He had four offensive rebounds and two defensive rebounds, making him a valuable player Friday night.

The girl’s team unfortunately lost to Georgia Christian School 34-41, but Coach Mardi McRae said the girls played Georgia Christian closer Friday night than they ever have. The team started off dominating with 15 points in the first period, while GCS only scored 6. Both teams struggled to put many points on the board in the second period, with GCA scoring 6 and GCS scoring 7. After halftime, GCS came back with a vengeance and scored 16 points in period three, while GCA only scored 4. GCA continued to struggle in period 4, only scoring 9 points, while GCS scored 12.

Junior, Mallie Andrews scored 10 points for the team, making two two-pointers and going 6-for-9 at the free throw line. She also had two defensive rebounds and one offensive rebound.

Sophomore, Caroline Wells was also a key player, scoring eight points for the team. She made three two-pointers and went two-for-two at the free throw line. She also made two defensive rebounds.

Although the girls are out of the state tournament, the win Friday night gives the boys’ team a bye for the first round of the tournament. They will play in the state quarterfinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. at South Georgia State College in Douglas.