Johnson boys, Beach girls are Final Four bound

The Smashers are back in the semis for the first time since 2014, while Beach is in for the sixth time in seven years.
The Atom Smashers are back in the Final Four for the first time since 2014.
The Atom Smashers are back in the Final Four for the first time since 2014.(WTOC)
Updated: Feb. 27, 2020 at 12:30 AM EST
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LUDOWICI, Ga. (WTOC) - Two Savannah hoops powerhouses are headed to the Final Four after Elite Eight wins Wednesday night.

The Johnson boys and Beach girls will join the Johnson girls in Valdosta this weekend for the Class AAA Final Four after each won state quarterfinal games on the road.


The Atom Smashers survived a slugfest Wednesday night in Ludowici, escaping with a 49-46 win to clinch their first Final Four berth since 2014.

Emondre Bowles scored all 14 of his points in the second half after getting in foul trouble in the first half, and Derrick Edwards added 14 of his own.

Trailing by one in the final seconds, the Blue Tide had a shot at the win. Tostadas Pouncey’s three point attempt fell short, and the rebound was kicked out to Edwards, who raced down the floor for a layup to put the Smashers up three.

But the Tide had one last heave, but Cam Johnson’s three-quarter court prayer rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.

“We just had to stay with each other, make sure nobody got in our heads, and just play as a team," Bowles says. "We just had to come out, know that we were playing for each other and finish the job.”

“Games like this, it puts you on edge. But it sharpens your senses," says Johnson head coach Utaff Gordon. "It’s a five game track meet, and we’ve knocked down three laps. So we have two more laps to go.”

The Atom Smashers will play Pace Academy in the state semifinals Saturday at Valdosta State. Tip off is set for 4:00 p.m.


The Bulldogs are Final Four bound for the fifth time in six years.
The Bulldogs are Final Four bound for the fifth time in six years.(WTOC)

Beach did what they do this time of year. The Bulldogs are headed back to the Final Four.

Beach took down Ringgold 47-31 Wednesday in north Georgia, clinching their sixth state semifinal berth in seven years.

Madison Evans and Kayla Rougier scored a combined 22 points for the Bulldogs, while Ameyah Dantzler grabbed 18 rebounds in the win.

The Bulldogs led 18-2 after the first quarter and 22-4 at one point in the second quarter.

Beach will play North Hall for a spot in the state title game Saturday at Valdosta State. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

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