DACULA -- Pinecrest Academy drained six straight 3-pointers to start the game and rode that momentum to a 58-45 win over Hebron Christian Academy in the semifinals of the Region 8-A boys basketball tournament at Hebron.
Pinecrest (13-14), the No. 3 seed from 8-A North, jumped ahead with five straight treys to lead 15-7 at the end of the first quarter and continued the hot shooting with three more 3-pointers in the second quarter to lead 34-11 at halftime.
Pinecrest, which finished the game with nine 3-pointers, maintained a comfortable margin throughout the second half and led 42-23 at the end of the third quarter before finishing up the 13-point win.
"When you dig a hole like we did early in the game, you just try to calm your guys down and tell them to just win each possession," said Hebron head coach Will Cantrell. "You can't get back in the game on one shot, so we tried to just play it one possession at a time. But it was hard to overcome those six straight 3s they hit to start the game."
Nick Palmer had 15 points, including four three-pointers, and Adam Guard also connected for 15, including a trio of treys, for Pinecrest.
Austin Ward added 11 points and also nailed a 3-pointer for Pinecrest, which will meet the winner of Commerce/Athens Christian on tonight for the region championship.
Ryan Thomas finished with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Hebron, the No. 4 seed from 8-A South.
Tyler Skidgel also had 10 points while Cory Johnson had eight for Hebron (12-16), which will meet the Commerce/Athens Christian loser in the third-place game today.
"We'll come back out (today) and play at least one more time," said Cantrell. "But we have no guarantee of going to state because of the way our (Class A points) system is set up. I was talking to (Pinecrest head coach Jay Lynch) and he's playing for a region championship now, but with no guarantee of going to state if they lose. It's just tough to have it the way we're set up (in Class A)."
Towns County girls 55, Providence Christian 37
Towns County outscored Providence Christian 19-4 in the second quarter en route to a 55-37 win in the semifinals of the Region 8-A girls tournament at Hebron.
After Towns County (23-4) built the 31-12 halftime lead, the Indians maintained a double-digit advantage for the entire second half and moved into tonight's championship game.
Providence (17-9) did cut the Towns lead down to 48-37 with 51 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Allie Petmecky.
But the Indians, the No. 1 seed from 8-A North, hit seven of eight free throws down the stretch, including six from Eryn Cochran.
Cochran led all scorers with 17 points for Towns while Kellsie Cowart had 16 and Stephanie Patton added 13.
Jessie Kowalewicz had 16 points for Providence and Aubrey Gold had eight. Petmecky had seven for the Storm.
Providence, the No. 2 seed from 8-A South, moves into this afternoon's third-place game against Hebron.
George Walton girls 56, Hebron Christian 31
George Walton held Hebron Christian to single digits in the first three quarters of this Region 8-A girls semifinal game and cruised home to a 56-31 win.
Leading 9-6 at the end of the first quarter, George Walton outscored Hebron 17-6 in the second quarter and doubled up the Lions 26-13 at intermission.
George Walton, the No. 1 seed from 8-A South, increased its lead to 43-19 at the end of the third quarter and the Bulldogs eventually finished up with the 25-point win.
Ivy Atkism led George Walton with a game-high 25 points and also had eight rebounds.
Jada Williams added 12 points and Cynara Pitt chipped in 10 for the Bulldogs.
George Walton (23-3) moves into tonight's region title game against Towns County.
Amber Skidgel led the way with 17 points for Hebron (12-15), the No. 3 seed from 8-A South.