Blue Collar Basketball/Berkmar MLK Showcase
Greater Atlanta Christian 69, Hillgrove 65 (OT): Hillgrove held a 13 point lead over the Spartans in the third quarter and led by nine points midway through the fourth quarter. GAC rallied back with a combination of hustle plays and Isaiah Wilkins’ range of offensive skills and the 6-foot-8 Virginia-commit gave the Spartans a 54-52 lead with his rim-rattling dunk with 2:20 remaining in the game.
Hillgrove answered with a B.J. Brown three-point play and reclaimed the lead at 55-54. On the ensuing Spartans possession, Wilkins absorbed the double team and found a wide open Garrett Covington, who drilled a three-pointer to put the Spartans ahead 57-55. Hillgrove’s Aaron Bailey was fouled on the inbounds pass and forced overtime (57-57) with a pair of made free throws.
In overtime, Wilkins scored on a three-point play and junior Cam Boyd made a three-pointer to give GAC a quick 63-57 lead. Hillgrove traded baskets and tied it at 65-65 with 21 seconds remaining. Brown fouled GAC’s Eric Jamison and and sent the sophomore to the foul line where he would net both attempts. On Hillgrove’s final possession, Wilkins came up with a steal with 6.5 ticks on the clock and was fouled before he iced the game with makes on both free throw attempts. Wilkins finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and three assists. Boyd, who hit the big overtime deep ball finished with five made three-pointers and 18 points, all of which came after halftime.
GAC plays Hapeville Charter (11-7) on Friday and will take on defending North Carolina state champion Winston-Salem Prep on Saturday in the Hilton Invitational at Norcross. The Spartans close the regular season next week with a trio of region opponents (Wesleyan, Westminster and Lovett). GAC’s biggest challenge should come on Saturday, considering the top-ranked Spartans beat Hapeville Charter 58-38, Wesleyan 62-17, Westminster 71-18 and Lovett 85-50 earlier this month.