MARIETTA -- With the game on the line, North Gwinnett's Kamaran Calhoun took over.
"He's just a sophomore, but he's our captain and our leader," Bulldogs coach Zach Smith said. "He does whatever it takes. He's a winner."
Because of Calhoun, so were the youthful Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-3 small forward, who scored North's final 10 points, hit a driving bucket as time expired for a 64-62 victory over Columbia on Saturday in the Nike Explosion at Wheeler.
"He's done it here before," Smith said. "He beat Wheeler in the Sweet 16 last season on the same kind of shot."
Calhoun had nine rebounds and three assists to go with 16 points -- all in the second half. He was 10-for-14 at the foul line, including 8-for-10 in the final quarter.
North (4-0) didn't dress a single senior against Columbia, who won the past three Class AAA (now AAAA) state titles. But the Bulldogs make up for their lack of experience with plenty of talent.
Sophomore point guard Tobias Howard, who started along with Calhoun as a freshman, had 15 points and three assists, while juniors Owen Lewis and Zaynah Robinson scored 13 and 12 points, respectively. Lewis also had four assists.
Columbia (1-1) got a monster game from star point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen with 27 points, but it wasn't quite enough thanks to Calhoun's late heroics.
Peachtree Ridge 56, Berkmar 53
Amir Warnock, a 6-foot-8 junior, had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman point guard Aaron Augustine had 17 points and six assists as Peachtree Ridge (5-2) rallied in the second half to beat Berkmar 56-53.
"That the best game we've played and we'll get the most out of it," Lions coach Keith Arrington said. "Last year's team had heart. This team has a lot of talent. If we develop the toughness to go with it, we'll be pretty good."
Peachtree Ridge, expected to again battle Norcross and North Gwinnett in Region 7-AAAAAA, took a 54-53 lead on Warnock's rebound basket off a missed foul shot with 1:05 left. Kevin Barnes then went 1-for-2 from the line with 8.1 seconds left and Warnock was 1-for-2 with 0.5 second remaining.
Jordan Capps had 10 points and Barnes grabbed 10 rebounds for the Lions, who were coming off a 73-54 region victory at Duluth on Friday.
C.J. Foster scored 24 points for Berkmar (2-2) while going 10-for-10 at the foul line. Malcolm Hannah added 10 points and Tim Rowe scored nine for the Patriots, who led 30-23 at halftime and 41-37 going into the final quarter.
Berkmar, which reached the state quarterfinals last season, had been upset by Dacula on Friday and now must regroup before playing at Shiloh on Tuesday in an early Region 8-AAAAAA showdown. The Patriots have won two straight region titles.
Miller Grove 72, Archer 70
Archer, up by 17 points in the second quarter, went cold after a red-hot start and lost to Miller Grove 72-70 on James Walker's put-back basket at the buzzer.
The Wolverines (4-1) had tied the game on Karl Bryant's 3-pointer with 1:06 to play. He scored 20, as did Kyre Hammer. Walker, a 6-foot-5 junior, had 13 points.
Archer (5-1) led 24-11 at the end of the first quarter and was up 35-18 before Miller Grove closed the second quarter on a 17-6 run to get within 41-35 at halftime. The Tigers were up 41-36 going into the final quarter.
Bryan Hamlet scored a game-high 22 points for Archer.
The Tigers had four players in double figures, with Kelvin Nwanze scoring 13, Randall Smith 11 and Aubrey Overby 10.
Miller Grove-- coming off four straight Class AAAA (now AAAAA) state titles has won four games in a row since being upset by McEachern on a last-second basket in the first round of the Parkview Tip-Off Classic.
Archer's start is still the best in the school's short history.