NORCROSS — When the Greater Atlanta Christian boys basketball team opened the game with a pair of 3-point baskets, one of the Jordan coaches confidently told the team, “They’re not going to do that all night.”
Sorry, coach, but they did.
The No. 1-ranked Spartans relied heavily on the 3-point shot, draining 10 of them on Tuesday, and came away with a 69-47 win over Jordan in the second round of the Class AA boys playoffs at the Long Forum.
GAC hit four treys in the first quarter and added two more in the third period to short-circuit any comeback notion that Jordan may have harbored.
“It was a slower-paced game than we’re used to playing, but that was OK because of our injury situation,” said GAC coach Eddie Martin.
Three players were hobbled by thigh bruises: Malcolm Brogdon, Paul Davis and Collin Swinton. But they never hinted that a problem existed, particularly Brogdon, who finished with 25 points, 15 rebounds and four assists.
“We’re banged up, but the kids fought through it,” Martin said. “They’re tough kids and I knew they would respond.”
Also responding was A.J. Davis, who scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Cole Hobbs also added 14 and made four 3-pointers.
The veteran Spartans never allowed Jordan to gain any momentum and were able to answer each time they appeared ready to make a run. The last instance occurred early in the third period when Jordan had trimmed the lead to 12 points, only to have Hobbs make back-to-back treys to essentially put the game away.
“They’re one of the better teams in Georgia,” said Jordan coach Gerald Turner. “There’s a reason they’re ranked No. 1. You can’t beat that experience.”
Turner said his young team, which started only one senior, was somewhat nervous and intimidated by GAC.
“Right now all you want to do is survive and advance,” Martin said. “If this was a midseason game, I’d probably be spending more time talking to them (in the locker room), but at this point all you want to do in win and keep playing. We’re fortunate to be one of the eight teams still left.”
GAC will play the East Hall-Manchester winner on Friday at 8:30 p.m. in Dalton in the Class AA quarterfinals.