SUGAR HILL -- The Johnson boys punched their ticket into the Class AAAA state tournament with a 77-44 win over Stephens County Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Region 8-AAAA Tournament at Lanier High School.
The Knights (21-5) will take on Lumpkin County, which knocked off host Lanier 70-65 Saturday, at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the semifinals at Lanier.
Johnson showed some early rust in the first half after a long layoff due to weather, but managed to take a 35-24 at halftime. The Knights exploded in the third quarter with a 24-0 run to blow the game open taking a 63-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Knights were led by Ty Cockfield with 25 points, eight rebounds, and four steals. James Hodges added 19 points and 12 rebounds, Justin Jones chipped in 14 points and five rebounds off the bench. Rod English had seven points and seven rebounds.
Stephens County was led by Tavoris Davis with 12 points.
LUMPKIN COUNTY BOYS 70,
Lumpkin County built a big first half lead and then held on in the second half to knock off host Lanier in the quarterfinals and advance to the Class AAAA state tournament.
The Indians last reached the state tournament in 2006.
The Indians used a 23-11 second quarter to take a 41-27 lead at halftime. Lanier would chip away in the second half.
The Longhorns cut it to 53-44 by the end of the third quarter and cut it one point late in the game. But, Lumpkin County's Evan Bafile sank one of his five 3-pointers to extend the lead and the Indians hit 9-of-12 free throws in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Daniel McCrary paced Lumpkin County with 24 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. Bafile finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists, and Austin Holman went 7-for-10 from the field to add 14 for the Indians.