ALPHARETTA — Wesleyan began its defense of the Class A boys state championship with a convincing 71-41 win over Holy Innocents’ in the opening round of the Region 5-A tournament Wednesday at Mount Pisgah.
The Wolves used effective defense and a balanced scoring attack to subdue Holy Innocents’ early in the contest. Wesleyan got off to a 12-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and stretched its lead to 18 points by halftime, 32-14.
“It’s always good to get the first one out of the way,” Wesleyan coach Skip Matherly said. “We know we’re in the state tournament now and I am pleased at how we defended tonight. We gave them a hard time and then just chipped away with our offense.”
Matherly cited junior guard Takim Williams for his defense throughout the game.
“He was getting his hand on the ball most of the game,” Matherly said. “And Hudson (Price) played well tonight.”
The sophomore Price, who scored seven consecutive points for Wesleyan in the third quarter to eliminate any doubt about the outcome. Price finished with 13 points.
In the first half, the Wolves got good scoring from senior Andrew Frerking with 10, nine the virtue of 3-pointers. Leading Wesleyan in scoring was senior Ty Teague with 18 while sophomore Charles Mack added six, all free throws, and Williams chipped in five points. Wesleyan displayed one more talented sophomore in the final minutes as Jaye Rochelle came off the bench to score the final five points of the game.
The Wolves will face St. Francis in the second round at Pace Academy on Thursday.
Atlanta International 40
While Wesleyan defends its state title, Providence looked impressive in its defense of its Region 5-A tournament title. Going up against Atlanta International, Providence used the ball handling of Nikko Cormier and solid inside play from Alan Skinner, to jump out to a 10-0 lead and take an easy 65-40 win.
Charlie Scott made two free throws on a technical foul before play began to give Providence a quick lead. That lead was up to 17-5 by the end of the first quarter and more than 20 points at halftime, 43-17.
“We didn’t play them earlier in the year so we scouted them last night,” second year coach Ivan Iverson said. “We felt like we would be fine if we came out and defended well. And we wanted to execute on offense and that went well for us, too.”
Providence will face top-seeded Pace on Thursday.