Glenn Hills defeats Woodville Tompkins in first round of state basketball tournament

Glenn Hills defeats Woodville Tompkins in first round of state basketball tournament

Glenn Hills’ John Whitehead goes up for a shot during Friday night’s game against Woodville Tompkins. [WYNSTON WILCOX/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

Wynston Wilcox @wynstonw_

One of the perks of getting a region title is being able to play host to a Georgia High School Association first-round state tournament game, something Glenn Hills hasn’t done in a while.

With a 72-58 win over Woodville Tompkins on Friday night, the Spartans’ ultimate goal of playing for a state championship remains alive.

“We definitely didn’t want to take (home court advantage) for granted,” Glenn Hills coach William Cunningham said after the game. “We needed to win it. The community has been fired up about us and we definitely wanted to win it.”

Through the first 16 minutes of the game, Woodville Tompkins and Glenn Hills were equals, tied at 32 at the half.

The message at halftime was simple: For the seniors, this could be their last high school game. The Spartans responded with a 21-point quarter and held Woodville Tompkins to just seven to get a 14-point lead after three quarters. From there, it was keying on defense and rebounding.

“The only chance that team had on us was an offensive rebound or turnover,” Cunningham said. “If we took care of the basketball, we would be fine.”

Woodville Tompkins cut the lead to eight with three minutes left in the game, but the Spartans held on to advance in the GHSA AA tournament.

Senior forward Emmanuel Jones led all Glenn Hills scorers with 19 points. Senior guard/forward John Whitehead added 16, and Lazarus Marshall finished with 9.

The Spartans will play the winner of Union County and Douglass (Atlanta) next week. Union County and Douglass play at 3 p.m. Saturday.

“We’re growing, we know that it takes one game at a time,” Cunningham said. “These guys want to keep playing.”

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