POWDER SPRINGS – Pebblebrook took control of the game with a strong second half to defeat McEachern 85-74 in a Region 2AAAAAAA matchup at Lovinggood Arena on Friday.

Fueled by Andre Young’s 22 points and Kami Young’s 21, which included six 3-pointers, Pebblebrook (14-2, 3-0) – No. 2 in Class AAAAAAA -- battled No. 4 McEachern (9-5, 1-1) in the first half before the Falcons began to pull away in the second.

“The main thing is making shots,” Pebblebrook coach George Washington said. “We made some shots and that’s important for our defense. When kids make shots, they have a tendency to do the other little things when they see the ball going in. Dre (Andre Young) made some shots, Kami hit some shots, Jordan (Brown) hit some shots to start the third quarter off, so that ignited our defense. And what I tell them all night is, ‘If we can put together three stops in a row and two scores, then you have a chance to win the game. So, in the third quarter, we had three stops and two scores and we did that on and off. We did have a couple of sloppy possessions where we turned the ball over – we’ve got to clean that up. But overall, I’m proud of what the guys did.”

Mike Jacobs led McEachern with 22 points, while Ace Bailey had 21 and Jalen Hilliard added 16.

The teams traded the lead through most of the first half. Hilliard’s jumper with 1:40 remaining before halftime gave McEachern a 40-39 lead, which turned to be the last time the Indians led in the game.

Pebblebrook finished the first half with an 8-2 run, with Andre Young contributing a 3-pointer, to give the Falcons an 47-42 halftime lead.

Three-pointers by Brown and Kami Young would help propel Pebblebrook to a 53-44 lead with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter and the Falcons would lead by as much as 11 points on three separate occasions before McEachern rallied with eight unanswered points at the end of the period to go from a 67-56 deficit with 2:02 remaining to trail 67-64 going into the fourth quarter.

Bailey scored six of McEachern’s eight points and would end up scoring 13 of the Indians’ 22 points during the third quarter.

However, McEachern would never get closer than that as Pebblebrook – leading 77-72 with 3:30 remaining in the game – finished with an 8-2 run. Kami Young scored six of the Falcons’ final eight points.

“They constantly put pressure on us as far as when we scored a bucket, they came back,” said McEachern coach Tremayne Anchrum Sr., who was an assistant coach at Pebblebrook the previous two seasons. “Every time we shot a shot, they were off and running. Their speed just got us today. Our kids played hard and I have to take that loss on me. Some of the things of me managing the game, the way I managed the game, I have to take that on me. Our kids played hard, both teams played hard. I mean, it’s an emotional game. At the end of the day, Andre Young came out on fire. There was nothing we could do about that. Kami (Young) got it going. It’s tough, but the good thing about it is that we play again (Saturday at home against Florida State University High School of Tallahassee (Fla.), so we have another opportunity.”

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