This story was updated at 11:21 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, with more information.
Howard senior guard Mark Greer dribbled the ball back and forth on the left side just past the half-court mark, waiting for the perfect time to strike.
Then, working off to the right side of a screen set by My'Quise Thomas at the top of the arc, Greer drained a 3-pointer for a 64-62 win at Brainerd on Saturday night.
Greer scored all seven of his points in the final quarter to lead the Hustlin' Tigers past a former district rival and reach double-digit victories for the season.
"Making the game-winning shot means everything to me," Greer said. "The kid guarding me said, 'I dare you to shoot it.' ... I just did what I've been taught and trained to do my whole life — hoop and make high-IQ plays. I had the eye of the tiger."
The visitors were led early by junior guard Jacob Millsap, who scored 22 points and hit five 3-pointers in the first half to push Howard (10-3) to a 42-26 lead.
Brainerd brought a valiant second-half fight as Quintus Broadnax imposed his scoring will while helping a defensive showing that held Howard to four points in the third quarter.
JaKyse Locklin led the Panthers with 15 points, and Broadnax, Dennis Lewis Jr. and Keon Wheeler also reached double figures in the close defeat.
Thomas finished with 12 for Howard and made a pair of 3-pointers, as did Jaylen Taylor in a 10-point performance.
James Talley's Hustlin' Tigers have a 74-26 record over their past 100 games and are seeking their third state tournament appearance in four seasons.
McCallie 44, Boyd Buchanan 39: The Blue Tornado improved to 16-1 as they fought back from a 27-21 halftime deficit to overcome a big game from Caden Johnson. The Boyd-Buchanan junior guard scored 16 points and made four 3-pointers on the road. Parker Robison led McCallie with 12 points, while Milos Stijepovic and Kollin Claridy added 11 and 10, respectively.
Heritage 51, Ringgold 47: The Generals (8-5) won the nonregion game against their Catoosa County rivals as Kaleb Gallman had 14 points, Carson Green 12 and Kaleb Biddle and Ty Loveless nine each. O'Reilly Matthews and Cooper Sexton led Ringgold with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Ridgeland 63, East Ridge 55: Judd Anderson scored a game-high 25 points to lead Ridgeland, which also received 13 from Zack Harrison and 12 from Matthew Ramsely. Cadion Harris and Hasani Jackson led the Pioneers with 14 points each, with Tyree Smith adding 13.
Knoxville Catholic 63, Bradley Central 60: Knoxville Catholic's Sydney Mains scored 30 points while shooting 8-of-12 from 3-point range to key a big home win over Bradley Central (14-2), which led 17-8 after the first quarter. A total of 25 3-pointers were made in the game, with both sides shooting 60% from distance. Bradley Central's Ashlan Crittenden made four 3-pointers and was matched by teammates Erika Swick and Karsee Weber in scoring 13 points.
Heritage 47, Ringgold 29: The Lady Tigers lost despite 12 points, five assists and three steals from point guard Rachel Lopez.
LaFayette 51, Trion 48: The Lady Bulldogs lost the Walker County matchup despite 10 points from I'ziah McCutchins and nine each from Jenna Mosley and Kinzleigh Turner.
East Hamilton 60, East Ridge 20: McKenna Hayes scored 18 points and Christal Collins had seven steals for the Lady Hurricanes (7-9, 4-0 District 6-AAA), who tallied 50 of their points in the first and third quarters during Friday's blowout win.
Baylor 55, Notre Dame 40: Sophomore guard Riley Oleksik drained six 3-pointers and scored 20 points, while Bella White had 15 points and seven assists for the Lady Red Raiders in Friday's win. Kenzie Campbell led Notre Dame with 12 points.
The Georgia High School Association held its area/region duals Saturday, where the top four finishers in each tournament earned entries into the state preliminary round next Saturday, where the top two from each event will earn berths into the state championship duals the following weekend.
Area 7-A at Trion: The host Bulldogs won a pair of matches by a combined 163-0 to earn the right to host a state preliminary. Trion coach Eric Brock, after wins of 79-0 over Darlington and 84-0 over Gordon Lee, praised Toby Maddux for a tight win over Darlington's Alan Cordero. Daegan Vaughn and Bryce James also reached 100 career wins for the Bulldogs.
Gordon Lee advanced after defeating Armuchee 48-33 in the semifinal round. Landon Brown (120 pounds), Brock Crutchfield (132), Penn Askew (145), Michael Branem (170), Timy Duke (220) and Gabe Lowe (285) earned wins versus Armuchee.
Area 7-AA at Chattooga: Dade County won the area and will host a state preliminary after defeating Coosa in the championship round, 60-15. The Wolverines also defeated Pepperell 72-10, Model 47-29, Chattooga 54-18 and Gordon Central 81-0. Cody Williams, Isaac Pangle, Landon Williams, Jake Gatlin, Cayden Cooper and Austin Sorrelle each went undefeated.
Area 6-AAA at Sonoraville: The host Phoenix rolled to another area title with a 56-24 title win over Ringgold, which followed a 58-15 victory over LaFayette in the semifinals. For Sonoraville, Hunter Young (132), Dirk Junkins (160), Colt Weaver (170) and Gavin Hooper (182) each had two pins.
Sonoraville will host a preliminary, with Ringgold and LaFayette also advancing to the next phase.
Region 7-AAAA at Heritage: Central-Carroll earned the region title with a 39-35 win over the host Generals. Heritage then lost to Cedartown 40-39 in the second-place match. The Generals, 22-10 overall this season, still qualified for the preliminary round in Savannah, led by Evan Wingrove (160) and Skylar Grant (170/180), who each went 3-0 with three pins, and Tate Thomas (106) and Drew Deitz (138), who also went 3-0.
Compiled by Patrick MacCoon and Lindsey Young. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.