PEACHTREE CORNERS — Hebron Christian upset Providence Christian, ranked No. 1 in Class A Private, 57-46 Thursday in the Region 5-A Private Tournament semifinals.
Hebron advances to Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game at Wesleyan against Holy Innocents’. It was the first loss in 2021 for Providence, snapping the Storm's 12-game winning streak that began after a Dec. 29 loss to Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.).
“I have a lot of respect for Providence and the success they have had this year," Hebron boys coach Brandon Johnson said. "We knew we would have to play well to beat a good team like this, and our guys went into the contest poised and ready to execute the task at hand. We have talked about this entire year the quality of unity both as believers of Christ and as a team. Tonight, the balanced scoring line indicated this focus of unity where our guys were able to make the right play in the given moment no matter who it was.
"I am also extremely proud of the development of our seniors. They have been fine young men since I first took the job over last year and have poured in so much to make this program great. I am humbled to have the opportunity to be a part of their journey.”
Johnson said the unity and cohesiveness also included the bench, whose energy he credited with a big role in the victory.
The Lions were led by Samuel Hutto (14 points, five rebounds), Scott Gabel (12 points, four rebounds), Zach Calvert (11 points, four rebounds) and Jayden Williams (eight points, seven rebounds, three blocks). Jackson Owens (five points) and Jerill Nix (four points) played stellar defense in the win.
“Zach really does a lot for us from night to night," Johnson said. "He is the leader in our program and has a way of being composed no matter what comes his way. ... Samuel is one of the most competitive kids I have coached. He does whatever it takes for the team to be successful. Tonight, he really was able to highlight his ability and the versatility he brings to the game.”
The way the Lions (11-10) competed in rebounding also was a major factor.
“Jayden and Jerill did such a great job on the boards," Johnson said. "Their toughness tonight did not go unnoticed and was the catalyst to our team’s success.”
Chance Thacker scored 15 for Providence, which faces Galloway at 2 p.m. Saturday in the third-place game at Wesleyan.
Norcross 72, Discovery 61
LAWRENCEVILLE — Norcross pulled away in the second half Thursday for a 72-61 win over Discovery in the Region 7-AAAAAAA Tournament, earning the No. 3 seed for the state playoffs.
Salem 62, GAC 56
NORCROSS — Salem got past Greater Atlanta Christian 62-56 in overtime Thursday in the Region 5-AAA Tournament semifinals.
Josh Fulton (27 points, seven rebounds), Saiku White (12 points, six assists, four rebounds), LaMarr Randolph (nine points, six rebounds, three assists) and Kaosi Chijioke (six rebounds) led the way for GAC.