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GAC boys basketball wins state tourney opener by 61

NORCROSS — Greater Atlanta Christian’s boys basketball team wasted no time and showed no early-round jitters in the Class AA state tournament as the Spartans pounded Union County 83-22 Friday night at Long Forum.

GAC, the defending Class AA champion, moves into the second round to take on the Model-Jordan winner.

GAC (28-0) raced out to a 29-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter, 50-19 at the half and 72-22 at the end of three before finishing with the 61-point victory.

“We got off to a fast start and I thought we shot the ball well from the perimeter,” said GAC head coach Eddie Martin. “That’s a big plus for us. It’s a first-round game and now we’re already looking ahead to the next round. (Union County) deserves to be in the playoffs and we just played really well tonight.”

And there were plenty of heroes to go around.

Offensively, five GAC players found double-figures and the Spartans were led by Garrett Covington’s 20 points that included six three-pointers.

Cam Boyd connected for 14 points that included four treys to go along with six assists while Isaiah Wilkins added 13 points.

Wilkins also grabbed six rebounds, dished out a pair of assists and blocked five shots.

Landon Tabor and Ramses Sandifer each had 10 points for GAC, including a pair of 3-pointers from Tabor in the win.

Tabor also had seven rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot while Sandifer added six rebounds.

Nine Spartans eventually found the scoring column as GAC scored 80 or more points for the sixth time this season.

“A lot of our kids have played a lot of minutes this year,” said Martin. “That’s because of our schedule. So it’s good to get so many guys a lot of playing time tonight in the first round. We got through it with no injuries and now we get ready for the next opponent.”

GAC also had it going defensively, limiting Union County to 22 total points as the Panthers were held scoreless in the final quarter and finished with just three points in the entire second half – a lone three-pointer by Tyler Odom.

The 22 points allowed by GAC was the third lowest total of the year after holding Wesleyan to 17 and Westminster to 18 during the regular season.

Odom had 11 points, including three three-pointers, to lead Union County (15-14), the No. 4 seed from Region 8B-AA.