It was only a year ago that the Peach County Trojans stumbled out of the gate, losing four of their first five games in GHSA Region 2-AAA.
This year, the Trojans are 5-0 in the region, scoring an impressive 61-58 road win Tuesday over Central.
Saire Davis, who has been nursing a foot injury, scored 21 points and Avery Mitchell scored 16 points with 16 rebounds to key the win.
“I think Saire was the ‘X’ factor in this game,” said Trojans head coach Rickey Wray, whose team improved to 7-0 overall. “We knew that Central would be a big challenge for us because they are so athletic and we decided to play man to man the entire game because of that. I thought we had a great defensive effort the entire game.”
Peach County jumped out to a 13-5 lead early, but Rakwon Iverson, who ended up with 12 points, scored four quick points to cut it to 13-9. Peach County was able to add two points to its lead, courtesy of Davis, who scored 10 points in the quarter.
Central cut the lead to 27-25 late in the second quarter on consecutive baskets by Robert Cummings V, but Peach County got a late three-point play by Jared Johnson to stretch the lead to 30-25 at the half.
Central cut the lead to one at 34-33 early in the third quarter on an Errick Huston Jr. basket, but the Trojans responded, scoring the next six points to up the lead to 40-33, and they took a 46-41 lead into the fourth.
Mitchell came alive offensively in the fourth quarter, scoring the Trojans’ first four points for a 50-41 lead, but Central answered again on five quick points by Derrick Evans Jr. to get the margin back to four at 50-46.
The rest of the game was back and forth, and the Chargers trailed by only three with 19 seconds left, but three attempts at a 3-pointer failed and Peach County held on for the win.
“It was a very good high school basketball game and we know that Peach County will always be ready to play, but I don’t know if we were quite ready to play,” said Central head coach Andre Taylor, whose team fell to 3-2 in region play. “But I would rather lose a game early in the region season than late. This is a game that will humble us and allow us to focus on the things we need to improve on.”
Evans led Central with 19 points, and Antarius McCoy added 16.
The girls game was not as close, as Peach County rolled to a 63-38 win. Nausia Woolfolk scored 25 points and Jordan Davis added 13 for the Trojans, while Alexis Rutherford had eight points to lead Central.