Paige Lyons

Wesleyan basketball player Paige Lyons handles the ball in a game against Holy Innocents’ during the 2019 season.

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Basketball State Playoffs has reached the finals and two local teams are still in contention for a title.

The Wesleyan girls’ team will be in the Class A Private final on March 6 in Macon seeking its third-consecutive state title. The Wolves earned their spot after defeating St. Francis 66-52 in the semifinals held in Dahlonega on March 2. Avyonce Carter continued her stellar campaign with a team-high 25 points and 19 rebounds in the victory. Callie Weaver had 11 points while Nicole Azar and Paige Lyons posted 10 points each. Jessie Parish grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds as well for Wesleyan.

Savannah Samuel had a team-high 18 points for the Knights who finished their season with 23 ins. St. Francis was the second overall seed and earned postseason wins over Christian Heritage and Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (ELCA) to reach the semifinals.

The Wolves, who are the sixth seed in the tournament, were awarded a first-round bye and began its postseason journey with a 75-23 home win over Savannah Christian in the second round. Wesleyan hit the road for its quarterfinals’ contest against Lakeview Academy on Feb. 26. The Wolves emerged with a 76-51 win led by Carter’s game-high 21 points and eight rebounds in addition to Izzy Larsen’s 16 points.

Wesleyan will meet a familiar foe in the state finals as it will face fellow Region 5A team Holy Innocents’. The Golden Bears are the top overall seed and after receiving a first-round bye of its own, have defeated Greenforest, Mount Paran Christian and Calvary Day in the postseason to reach the finals. Holy Innocents’ has defeated Wesleyan twice this season including a 72-50 victory in the region tournament championship on Feb. 9.

The two teams are meeting in the state title game for the fifth-consecutive year with the Wolves winning the previous two championship matchups.Wesleyan is seeking its 14th state title.

The St. Francis boys’ team will also compete for a Class A Private state title on March 6 when it faces ELCA on March 6. The Knights reached the finals with a 65-63 win over Mount Bethel in the semifinals in Macon on March 2. Dwon Odom and CJ Riley each had 19 points while teammate Chase Ellis posted 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the victory.

St. Francis is the top overall seed and after receiving a first-round bye defeated Pinecrest Academy 67-39 in the second round. The Knights earned a 77-44 home win over Savannah Country Day in the quarters to reach the semis. St. Francis is seeking its third state title in program history and first since 2015.

Roswell’s girls team saw its season conclude with a 35-28 road defeat to North Forsyth on Feb. 26 in the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAAAA playoffs. Kennedy Powell posted a team-high 13 points and six rebounds while Makala Torrence had 10 points and four steals. The Hornets won 21 contests this season.

Roswell’s boys team also dropped its quarterfinals contest, this one at Norcross 71-59 on Feb. 27. The Hornets enjoyed their best season in program history with 24 victories.


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