VALDOSTA -- Georgia Christian's boys dominated Valwood for a half Tuesday night. Then they almost let it slip away.
Georgia Christian improved to 4-2 this season with a 50-37 win over Valwood Tuesday at the Valwood Gym.
The Generals dominated the first half, taking a 33-12 lead at halftime. One quarter later, their lead was just eight, 36-28.
But down the stretch, the Generals made some key baskets, and pulled away for the win.
"We didn't play as well as we could, but we still won. A win is a win," Georgia Christian head coach Robert Jeffords said. "I thought our defense played well tonight.
"We're learning. I've got several players who haven't played a lot. We've worked hard the last week, and we're improving."
The first half was all Generals. Georgia Christian scored 15 of the game's first 17 points, and were in control. Samuel Norman scored eight points in the run.
Georgia Christian led 20-7 at the end of the first quarter, and extended the lead in the second quarter. The Generals scored the final nine points of the quarter, and led by 21 at the half.
But when the two teams came out for the second half, fortunes somehow changed. The baskets started falling for Valwood, while GCS couldn't manage a point.
"Valwood shot the ball well in the third quarter, and we didn't," Jeffords said. "We got complacent in the second half, and they came back on us."
The Valiants went on a 14-0 run over the first 6:34 of the third quarter. Point guard Jerod Rigoni had seven points in the run. Austin Guthrie's three-pointer with 1:03 left was GCS' only basket of the quarter. Heading into the fourth, Georgia Christian led by just eight.
But the Generals put the game away in the final five minutes. Six straight GCS points doubled the lead to 12, 43-31, and then an 8-0 run at the end sealed the victory.
Norman led Georgia Christian, now 2-0 in GISA Region 3-AA, with 16 points. Walker Sloan and Guthrie added seven apiece. Rigoni led Valwood with 13 points, while Kenny Green added 10.
Georgia Christian girls 39, Valwood 19
Georgia Christian admitted it didn't play its best against Valwood, but the defending region champs still came out with a 20-point win.
"We had an off night. It was just one of those nights. But we'll take the win," Lady Generals head coach Philip Guthrie said. "We had some good moments, played well at times. But we've got to continue to get better if we're going to compete on the level we want to compete on. This is a rebuilding year for us, because we're young, and we don't have a lot of experience."
The win improved Georgia Christian's record to 5-1, and 2-0 in the region.
"I would not have believed going into the season that we'd be 5-1 at this point, but I'm glad we are," Guthrie said. "We're pleased with this start."
No Lady General scored in double figures Tuesday, but Ashley Carter, Nicole Renfro and Katie Colson each scored eight points.
"We've spread the points around," Guthrie said. "We don't have a player like (former star) Kelly McMullen who's going to score 25 points every night. But we do have girls who can shoot the ball."
Georgia Christian jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter, and never relinquished it. Chaeli Nelson scored six of GCS' 10 points in the quarter.
The Lady Generals scored eight points in the second period and extended the lead to 18-5 at halftime. Then in the third quarter, the teams played fairly even, with Georgia Christian leading 29-15 after three quarters.
Billie Anderson scored 12 of Valwood's 19 points.
Valwood takes both JV games
Valwood's junior varsity teams posted victories Tuesday over Georgia Christian.
Zac Henry scored 13 points to lead the Valwood JV boys to a 34-29 victory Tuesday. Adam Rigoni and Carter Karras added 10 points apiece, while Benjamin Nelson scored 12 for GCS. The Valwood girls defeated GCS 20-18, relying on balanced scoring -- Ashley Anderson, Kristin Gill, Morgan Sumner and Lauren Cloud each scored four points in the win. Morgan Campbell scored 10 for GCS.
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