Photo: David McGregor. Peachtree Ridge forward Jordan Grant puts a shot up over Mill Creek's Ronald Wamer during the first half of the Lions' 53-52 region victory Friday night at Peachtree Ridge.
SUWANEE -- The Peachtree Ridge boys turned the tables on Mill Creek and in the process continued the Hawks' late-season woes.
"This was payback," Jordan Grant said after escaping the mob of happy Peachtree Ridge players and fans at midcourt Friday night.
A month ago, Mill Creek edged the visiting Lions by a point on a tip-in at the buzzer. This time the ending wasn't quite as dramatic, but it was just as satisfying for Peachtree Ridge.
Grant made both ends of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity with 18.8 seconds remaining at Peachtree Ridge and the Lions survived a shot by Mill Creek as time expired for a 53-52 victory.
"I couldn't be nervous," Grant said. "We wanted to beat them by more after what happened when we played before, but we're happy to take this. Now they know how we felt."
Grant, a 6-foot-5 senior who transferred from Norcross, pulled Peachtree Ridge within a point on a fast break layup with 35.8 seconds left and then grabbed the rebound after Mill Creek missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 20.2 seconds left.
"I think he's one of the best players in the state that hardly anyone has heard of," Peachtree Ridge coach Keith Arrington said. "He didn't get to play that much at Norcross, but he's been a great addition for us. This isn't the first time he's come through in a game."
The victory clinched second place in 7-AAAAA for Peachtree Ridge, which is 13-3 in the region and 17-6 overall. While the Lions seem to be peaking at the right time, Mill Creek needs to get back on track with the region tournament a week away.
The Hawks, who have a key 7-AAAAA game with Collins Hill on Tuesday, have lost five games in a row. Mill Creek is 10-6 in the region and 16-7 overall.
Until the final minutes, it looked like the Hawks were going to break their losing streak. When Derrick Lacey scored with 2:05 left to complete a 6-0 Mill Creek run, the Hawks led 52-47.
But C.J. Blackwell, who had 17 points and nine rebounds, had a basket to cut the deficit to three points and then Grant closed out the Lions' final 6-0 run.
Blackwell, a 6-foot-5 junior, had 11 points in the third quarter, hitting a trio of 3-pointers. Peachtree Ridge badly needed their leading scorer to step up after Mill Creek had hit three consecutive 3-pointers to go up 35-26. Peachtree Ridge led 44-40 at the end of the quarter.
"C.J. wasn't having his normal game," Arrington said. "We challenged him a halftime and he responded."
Mill Creek's trio of Kyle Speller, Ronald Wamer and Brandon Hayman did all they could to help the Hawks' snap their streak, but in the end it wasn't quite enough.
Speller had 17 points, including four 3-pointers, while Wamer scored 14 and Hayman had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Rasheed Fischer scored 13 points and Grant finished with 12 for Peachtree Ridge, who played without starter Matt Beatty. The 6-foot-5 senior sat out to rest a sore knee.
Despite an early 6-0 lead, Peachtree Ridge needed a jumper at the buzzer by Blackwell to lead 13-11 at the end of the first quarter. The Lions built another six-point lead a 19-13, but Mill Creek closed the second quarter on a 12-4 run to go up 25-23 at halftime. The Hawks took their first lead on a pair of free throws by Daniel Braschler.
Fischer scored seven of Peachtree Ridge's 10 points in the second quarter and had 11 points at intermission. Speller scored eight points and Wamer had six for Mill Creek in the first half.
Mill Creek girls 69, Peachtree Ridge 37
All 12 players scored as the No. 3-ranked Mill Creek girls bounced back from an upset loss at Chattahoochee on Tuesday to defeat Peachtree Ridge 69-37 and improve to 14-2 in Region 7-AAAAA.
Jac' Weathers scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Moneshia Simmons had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawks (19-4). Bethel Ogbuehl had eight rebounds and six points, while Christina McDannald contributed eight points and Alicia Fagin had four assists.
Peachtree Ridge (12-12, 8-8) scored the game's first four points. But Mill Creek then took charge with a 15-0 run and led 39-13 at halftime. It was 55-29 going into the fourth quarter.
Erika Waters led Peachtree Ridge with 12 points. Gabby Cole scored eight and Kimber McConnel had six on a pair of 3-pointers.