CLASS A BOYS: Great Falls 59, C.A. Johnson 44
C.A. Johnson's bid to step up to the big time collapsed under a hail of Great Falls 3-pointers in Tuesday's Class A quarterfinal game at Richland Northeast High.
The playoff-tested Red Devils rained 12 treys on the Green Hornets in a 59-44 win that sent Great Falls on to the Upper State championship game.
John Smith's team came out red-hot and stayed that way for three quarters on the way to the program's 84th playoff win in the modern era of South Carolina preps sports - by far the top total.
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Now, the Red Devils (24-1) are focused on winning their seventh state championship under Smith, but their first since 2004.
Great Falls was 5-for-6 from 3-point range in the first quarter on the way to a 23-11 lead and was 9-for-11 at the close of the half to extend its advantage to 40-19. The Red Devils were 11-for-15 at the end of the third quarter and carried a commanding 52-27 lead into the final eight minutes.
Great Falls finished 12-for-17 (71 percent) from 3-point land.
"When you have that kind of shooting, it makes life a whole lot easier," said Smith, who picked up his 839th win in his 41-year career at Great Falls.
"If those are not going in, then it's a different ball game. We wanted to come out and get the lead because we didn't want C.A. Johnson to get up on us and play a control game."
Torrey Craig put on a show for Great Falls. The 6-foot-5 senior forward scored a game-high 23 points with four 3-pointers, seven rebounds and five blocks. Only three other Red Devils scored, but it was more than enough. Isaiah Lynn finished with 15 points with five 3s, Jacoby Canty scored 11 with three from beyond the arc, and forward Xavier Holmes chipped in 10.
"It's tough to win when the other team is shooting like that," C.A. Johnson coach Louis Dreher.
"We were down 25 going into the fourth quarter, but I'm proud of the way my guys kept fighting. I'm losing only three guys off this team, so hopefully the kids coming back have learned something about what it takes to win at this level."
Terrel Magazine led the Hornets (16-10) with 14 points, and Gerald Snooks scored 12.
Great Falls 59, C.A. Johnson 44
GF: Torrey Craig 23, Jacoby Canty 11, Isaiah Lynn 15, Xavier Holmes 10. CAJ: Dash 5, Goodman 2, Daniel Hopkins 6, Rose 5, Gerald Snooks 12, Terrel Magazine 14.