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Loganville upends Rockdale for title

CONYERS - Based on a superb shooting performance by Loganville on Friday at Winder-Barrow High School, the Rockdale basketball squad fell short of the 8-AAAA boys basketball championship.

The Bulldogs (19-8 overall) fell 80-74 thanks to a hot Red Devils squad unwilling to back down.

Loganville sank 11 3-pointers en route to the victory.

"I tell you what, they made more shots than we did," Rockdale coach Alvin Williams said. "Those guys played with heart and hustle. Their team peaked at the right time, and they're the best-coached team and most-improved team in our region."

After the opening quarter, Rockdale trailed 23-15. Ryan Boulter and Tyler Gunnett combined for 14 points to give the Red Devils the eight-point advantage.

Rockdale exploded in the second quarter, outscoring Loganville 23-8. Whereas in the first quarter it was point guard Cordarryle Bethley - who sank four field goals to keep Rockdale within striking distance - Byron Thompson and Byron Lawrence combined for 15 points to give the Bulldogs a 38-31 lead entering halftime.

Boulter kept Loganville afloat with eight points in the second period.

Yet it was Loganville that exploded for 28 points compared to 18 in the third period.

Ahead 59-56 entering the fourth stanza, it simply proved too much for Rockdale to overcome.

Loganville added 21 in the fourth compared to 16 to hoist the title.

Boulter scored a game-high 22 points. Tyler Gunnett added 16, while A.J. Schmidt had 10 points.

Bethley scored a team-high 18 points for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Kevin Ware chipped in 15, while Julius Giles had 13.

"I don't want to say that I'm glad that we lost this game, but losing this game is definitely going to help us," Williams said.

Jason Murdock can be reached at jason.murdock@rockdalecitizen.com.