Conyers Raymond Saunders scored 21 points to lead four in double figures as Westlake defeated Rockdale, 81-76 in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs Wednesday.
Westlake, the No. 3 seed from Region 3, will play the winner of Region 1 champion Tift County and McEachern in this weekend’s second round. Rockdale, the runner-up from Region 8, finished 17-11.
Westlake led by 10 at halftime, but LaRonte Parks had a huge third, scoring 11 points-nine of them coming from behind the arc-to send the Bulldogs to the final period down just 60-59. But Tony Bagtas had seven of his 18 points in the fourth and Kejuan Johnson (19 points) and Andre Elam (12 points) had four each as the Lions hung on.
Parks led the Bulldogs with 19 points, while C.J. Wilson, an uncommitted senior playing in his final high school game, and Darryle Tucker chipped in with 17 points each.