Cedar Grove wins in double-overtime to lead three DeKalb teams to Final Four

Cedar Grove High School’s boys’ basketball team defeated Long County High School 94-91 in a double-overtime thriller on March 1 in Ellenwood.

In addition to Cedar Grove, boys’ team from Columbia and Greenforest also advanced to the Final Four. Final Four games will be played at neutral site courts throughout Georgia.

Cedar Grove will play March 3 at 4 p.m. at Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley. The Cedar Grove Saints (19-9) will play Douglass (16-13) for the fourth time this season on March 3. Cedar Grove is 2-1 against Douglass so far this season.

Columbia will play at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville on March 4 at 8 p.m. The Columbia Eagles (30-1) will take on Westside-Augusta (23-7). It will be the teams’ first meeting this season.

In another first meeting between two teams this season, Greenforest (20-7) will play at Fort Valley State University on March 4 at 4 p.m. against Charlton County (28-2).

Cedar Grove 94, Long County 91

Big nights from EJ Colson and Jaylen Adside helped the Saints hold off Long County’s final rally for a ticket to the GHSA Class 3A state semifinals.

Adside goes up for layup through contact. Photos by Jay Phillips

Colson took over for a while in the third quarter, finally giving the Saints some breathing room in a game that had been neck-and-neck through the first half. Colson—who helped lead the Saints to a football state championship game in December as the team’s quarterback—scored 13 of his 29 points in the third quarter.

After trailing 53-46 after the third, Long County rallied in the fourth quarter and forced overtime thanks to a deep three banking in off the glass. Long County almost won in the first overtime period, but Nathaniel Loyd got an offensive rebound and a putback at the buzzer to force the second overtime period.

“I’m still trying to take it all in, but it feels good,” said first-year head coach Kendrick Callier. “It says a lot about our team. It shows that they’ll fight no matter what. We were down by four with about 12 seconds left, and we still end up taking it to a second overtime.”

Emmanuel Green started the second overtime period by carving through Long County’s defense for a layup, which also started a 10-0 run for Cedar Grove. Jeremiah Hardaway scored four of the 10 points and Green added an emphatic dunk to give Cedar Grove a 90-82 lead with 1:31 left.

Long County got the game within reach at 93-91, but it was too late as Cedar Grove had built too big of a lead.

Colson finished the game with 29 points while Adside added 21; Green had 16 points and eight rebounds and Darius Reynolds had 11 points, eight rebounds, and eight blocks.

Colson gets ready to shoot one of the three triples he made in the third quarter.

“We’ll enjoy it for the rest of the day, but we have to forget it within 24 hours. We’re going right back to work on Friday,” added Callier.

Columbia 74, Windsor Forest 60 

The Columbia Eagles put up 29 points in the fourth quarter to rally past the homestanding No. 6 ranked Windsor Forest Knights for a 74-60 win in a Class 2A boys’ basketball Elite 8 playoff game in Savannah on March 1.

Windsor Forest (23-7) took a 33-28 lead at halftime behind 10 points from Landon Page in the second and pair of threes from Ahmad Grovener.

Columbia (30-1) trailed 48-45 at the end of third quarter as Jah’Tavious Gaines had six points in the period to keep the Knights ahead going into the fourth quarter.

Six different Eagles put points up in the huge turnaround in the fourth quarter led by Jaden Baugh with eight points and Jamarcus Hatcher scoring six of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Terrell Wright scored five points in the fourth, Rashad Headges added four more, and Trevian Callaway was two-of-four from the line. Kevin Bruce aided the cause going two-for-two from the line.

On defense, the Eagles held the Knights to just five baskets in the final quarter.

Baugh finished with a game-high 23 points for Columbia as three other teammates also hit double figures. Headges and Wright knocked in 12 points each and Hatcher contributed 10 points.

Columbia moves on to face No. ranked Westside (23-7) of Augusta, the reigning Class 2A state champions, in a rematch of Columbia’s 82-72 second-round loss to the eventual state champions last season.

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