Comets back to winning

LOGANVILLE -- South Gwinnett's boys came into Monday night's regular season finale at Grayson with the No. 3 seed in the Region 8-AAAAA tournament secure.

But the Comets were still in need of something positive having lost three straight and five of their last eight.

And with the host Rams trying to make a second-half comeback, Adonis Harrison gave his team the positive it was looking for.

The 6-foot-4 senior scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Comets held off the Rams' charge and eventually pulled away for a 95-81 victory.

"We did (need the win)," South coach Scott Bracco said after his team improved to 17-8 overall and 9-7 in region. "A couple of games back, we lost one of our starters -- Jeff Quarterman -- for the season with a broken leg. ... That was a big blow to our chemistry, but I think we finally go the rotations and the chemistry together (Monday) night."

The Comets did look in synch most of the night in a game played a breakneck speed, thanks in no small part to Harrison, plus another big night from Javonte Maynor (game-high 24 points, six rebounds, four steals, three assists) and John Harris (19 points, six assists).

"It was a good win to end the regular season," said Harrison, who added 20 rebounds, four blocked shots, three assists and three steals to his point total. "It's tournament time, which means it's time we played hard."

South played plenty hard from the opening tip, using runs of 8-2 and 10-3 in the first quarter to built a 28-18 lead by the end of the period.

The lead reached as much as 44-26 after a Mykesse Thompson stickback with 3:06 left in the first half before Grayson (12-13, 6-10) slowly began to chip away.

A transition dunk by Andrew Osemhen keyed a 12-4 run over the final 2:51 of the half that pulled the Rams back to within 48-38 by intermission.

Grayson then turned up its defensive pressure, forcing South into eight turnovers in the third quarter.

And when reserve Callen Hightower came up with a steal and a layup off the fullcourt press to cap an 11-4 run, the Rams and pulled to within 60-59 with 1:52 left in the third quarter and trailed just 68-65 heading into the final frame.

"I expected kind of a windshield wiper-type game," Grayson coach Brian Anderson said. "We really buried ourselves in the first half, but I was impressed with our fight."

But after Hightower's foul line jumper with 7:32 left cut the South lead to 68-67, the Rams' fight began to run out of gas, while Harrison's and the Comets' tank still had plenty left.

After a T.J. Guthrie drive down the lane, Harrison came up with a pair of defensive rebounds and turned them into baskets on the other end to push South's lead back to 74-67 with 6:25 to play.

And with Grayson trying to hang in the game, Harrison delivered the knockout blow, grabbing an offensive rebound and slamming it home to push the Comets' lead to 85-75 with 3:30 left, and the Rams were never able to pull any closer than nine the rest of the way.

Ciavy Wiles nearly matched Harrison's outstanding individual effort on the evening, finishing with team highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds and adding five assists, while Osemhen added 16 points and five boards.

The Rams, who will open the region tournament as the No. 7 seed and will play No. 2 Central Gwinnett on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., also got 12 points from Javarris Smith, plus nine points and seven assists from Max Fairclough.

Meanwhile, South will take on Berkmar in a first-round game Thursday at 8:30 p.m.