GAC sets up another clash with Buford

NORCROSS - Chaney Means has her 1,000 points and the Greater Atlanta Christian girls are assured of a home game in the first round of the state tournament.

There is still some unfinished business for the Spartans in the Region 7-AA tournament, though.

GAC will get another crack at No. 1-ranked Buford on Saturday in the region championship game at the Long Forum. The Wolves (26-1) have won 25 straight games, including two over GAC.

"They are a very good team," Means said after scoring 20 points in a 58-34 semifinal victory over Decatur on Thursday. "But we're a much better team than we were early in the season."

GAC (19-8) used to be a nemesis for Buford. Now it is the other way around. No one in Class AA has challenged the Wolves yet. Buford's only loss this season came in double-overtime to Class AAAA power Marist on Dec. 6.

Buford, which routed Lovett 60-25 in its semifinal game on Thursday, owns 60-44 and 54-37 victories over GAC in the regular season.

"We're looking forward to going for the region championship," said GAC coach Chan Means, Chaney's father. "Hopefully, we'll play well."

The Spartans, ahead of Decatur 31-19 at halftime, saw their lead shrink to six points early in the third quarter as Means drew her third foul. But Clarke Boards scored five quick points for GAC and the Spartans broke the game wide open with a 19-5 edge in the fourth quarter.

Means, a junior guard, passed the 1,000-point milestone on a fourth-quarter drive, then hit her fourth 3-pointer.

"It didn't know anything about it," she said. "I wasn't keeping track."

"We told her she was close and would probably get it the playoffs," her father said. "But we didn't tell her how many she needed."

Means, who was a reserve on GAC's state title team as a freshman in 2007, entered this season as the Spartans' only returning starter. She is definitely GAC's mainstay, as shown by the five assists and six rebounds she also had against Decatur (13-14), but she is getting more and more help.

Boards had 14 points, four assists and four rebounds in the semifinals, while Alex McCall had nine rebounds and nine points. Like Means, they are juniors.

Buford had no trouble with Lovett in its game. The Wolves, ahead 35-15 at halftime, outscored Lovett 20-4 in the third quarter and cleared the bench in the final quarter.

Michelle Godwin led the Wolves with 20 points, hitting five 3-pointers. Blanche Alverson, an Auburn signee, scored 18 - 14 of them in the first half. Katie Lynn had seven points, all before halftime, and Chanee Carson scored six.