First-timers in the GISA Final Four, Loganville Christian didn't show any rookie jitters on Friday at Mercer's Hawkins Arena. The Lions pulled away in the second half Friday against Westminster, winning 55-45. They'll face Deerfield-Windsor in the GISA Class AAA championship at 8:20 p.m. on Saturday.
Loganville (21-3) emphatically took control in the third quarter. Leading 24-22, a decisive 12-0 run during the next five minutes decisively turned things in the favor of the Lions. An offensive putback by Seth Dossett followed by a free-throw shot grew the Loganville lead to 31-24 and another shot from the charity stripe shortly thereafter made the lead 32-24. Dossett led Loganville with 23 points.
Westminster fought back early in the fourth quarter. Austen Stokes, who scored just two points through the first three quarters, torched Loganville for eight points within two minutes, two of the shots coming on three-pointers. Its lead cut to 36-34, Loganville reverted back to its third-quarter form. The Lions snatched control back with another decisive run, this one of the 8-2 variety which put Loganville ahead 41-34 with 4:12 to play.
That was enough for the Lions to close the night out with a win, as their lead didn't go below five points.
A.J. Lewis and Stokes each scored 12 points to lead Westminster.
Both teams mirrored one another in the first half, overcoming noticeable scoring droughts to remain in strong contention as the first half ended with Loganville ahead 20-19.
The Lions sent seven minutes without converting a field goal, but a 6-0 run to end the half started by a Dossett shot followed quickly by an offensive putback by Caleb Boykin tied the score at 19-19, and a Boykin free-throw returned Loganville to the lead.
The Lions started strong, leading 10-2 as Westminster didn't convert a field goal until 2:40 remained in the first quarter. The Wildcats, who trailed 12-6 after a quarter, led 17-13 in the second quarter thanks to a 9-0 run.