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Lions fall short of title game

SNELLVILLE - Milton's Connor Nolte hurt Peachtree Ridge in the first quarter with his 3-pointers and in the fourth quarter at the free throw line.

The senior hit six 3's in the first period and sank two free throws with 25 seconds left in the game to give the Eagles a 56-55 win over Peachtree Ridge at the Deep South

Classic.

"I just pride myself on being a clutch free throw shooter," Nolte said.

With the win, Milton (8-1) will play Chattahoochee today at 3 p.m. at Brookwood High School for the Deep South championship. Peachtree Ridge (8-2) will play Walton in the third-place game at noon.

"They deserved to win, they made all the plays," Peachtree Ridge coach Gerald Arnold said.

After Nolte sank the two free throws to give Milton the lead, Peachtree Ridge had plenty of time to regain the lead, but an errant pass turned the ball over to the Eagles.

Nolte was the game's leading scorer with 28 points, including those six first-quarter 3-pointers.

"He's a great shooter," Arnold said. "We knew he could shoot the ball. In the fourth quarter we missed too many easy shots. There's no one to blame but ourselves."

Nolte came out firing to start the game. His third 3-pointer of the first quarter put the Eagles up 16-9. It wasn't until the second quarter that Peachtree Ridge was able to get back in the game.

Zach Graham scored seven consecutive points to make it a 29-27 game. A Cameron Heyward basket tied the game, but Brody Littley hit a shot with no time left to give the Eagles a 32-30 lead at the half.

A Kevin Anderson pass in the third period to Bassey Inameti tied the game again and then Anderson (18 points) hit a 3-pointer to give Peachtree Ridge its first lead of the game at 42-39.

The lead changed three more times in the final 10 minutes. An Anderson jumper gave the Lions its biggest lead (49-45) of the game with seven minutes to play.

Milton came back with a nice pass from Nolte to Robert Stoffel to tie the game and Peachtree Ridge took its last lead of the game with an Anderson steal and layup. But then Nolte did his damage to win the game.

Tony Smith (10 points) was the only other Milton player in double figures.

Heyward finished with 14 points for the Lions and Graham had 13.