Naquavious King scored 20 points and Costa Anderson added 19 for South Atlanta, which went on a decisive 12-0 run in the fourth quarter en route to a 78-68 home victory Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
“My guys have been resilient all year long and I can't take any credit for their resiliency,” South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick said. “They have played over 80 games together. All summer long I’ve seen them fight back. Games get close but they don't panic. ...They wanted it.”
With their 13th straight win, the Hornets (26-3) will now face Eagles Landing on Saturday at Fort Valley State.
“Getting to the Final Four really took a lot of hard work and dedication throughout the season, said King, who also had six rebounds and two steals.
Despite owning a 57-51 lead heading into the fourth quarter, South Atlanta allowed the Cougars (23-7) to put together a 9-3 run and pull even at 60-60 on a jump shot by Mikell Lands (17 points) with 4:38 remaining.
But a minute later, King initiated the Hornets’ response with a pair of free throws. Then Anderson highlighted the surge with a coast-to-coast layup. King followed that with two more foul shots and Kertiss Baisden (12 points, 10 rebounds) essentially capped things with a layup on a pass from Derrick Byrd (11 assists) and a tip-in for a 70-60 advantage.
After trailing by four points at halftime, the Hornets rallied to build a 10-point lead in the third before Lands converted a four-point play at the end of the quarter.
“This Alexander team was a scrappy bunch but we knew that coming in,” Reddick said. “We played them in the summer and in the fall leagues so we knew they were going to be coming at us full speed.”
Karim Mawuenyega, who made four 3-pointers, scored 18 points and Hassani Gravitt added 15 and four 3-pointers as well for Alexander.