By Staff Reports

Jardyn Alexander exploded 27 points in the second half and overtime to lead the Stone Mountain Lady Pirates to an exciting 57-55 overtime win over the home-standing Cedar Grove Saints on Tuesday night.

Stone Mountain (3-3, 1-0) trailed 21-18 at the half when Alexander began to take control inside as the two teams traded the lead six times after the break. The senior entered the half with just 7 points but scored 9 in the third quarter and only a layup by Cedar Grove’s Lelah Easterly with 9 seconds left in the quarter kept the Lady Saints (0-1, 0-1) in the lead at 33-32.

Freshman Rickayla Johnson’s layup with 6:22 to play in the game put Cedar Grove up 36-32.

Alexander hit a pair of driving layups, the second with 4:53 remaining to give Stone Mountain a 37-36 advantage. Baskets by Johnson and Easterly propelled the Lady Saints back in front 40-37 with 3:39 to play.

The game went into the hands of Alexander again as she scored Stone Mountain’s next eight points to give her team a 45-42 lead with 18 seconds to play.

Cedar Grove answered with eight seconds remaining as sophomore Raveen Smith knocked down an open three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

Cenia Flood’s offensive put-back with 2:53 to play gave Stone Mountain the lead for good at 49-37 and Jada Price later hit two more free throws with 1:08 to play to extend the lead to 54-49.

Cedar Grove wasn’t finished as sophomore ChrisJohnia Perdue got an offensive rebound and score and Johnson hit a pair of free throws to close the gap to 54-53 with 43.7 seconds to play.

Alexander and Johnson traded baskets and Stone Mountain was holding a slight 56-55 lead with 24 seconds to play. Alexander was fouled with 17.4 left on the clock and hit one of two free throws.

Cedar Grove got a pair of open looks from the three-point line in the last 10 seconds, but could not connect as time ran out.

Alexander finished with a game-high 34 points and a double-double with 10 rebounds to lead Stone Mountain. Cedar Grove had a 24-point performance from Johnson and Easterly added 19 points and 23 rebounds battling inside.

(B) Cedar Grove 72, Stone Mountain 39

The No. 4 ranked Cedar Grove Saints used an 11-3 run to open the second to all but put away the Stone Mountain Pirates in a 72-39 Region 5-3A victory on their home court.

Leading 34-18 at the half, the Saints opened the half with the 11-3 run led by Kanoris Cummings who scored seven points on an explosive dunk off a fast break, a three-pointer from the left wing and another drive to the basket to make it 45-21.

He would have five more points in the third quarter, all on free throws, and Jakeem Faulkner finished off the period with a pair of layups on assists by Jamarcus Glover and Cummings to make it a 58-29 game heading into the fourth quarter.

CG 2 Kanaris Cummings - SM 22 Samari Moore - SM 12 Abdullah Mini
Cedar Grove’s 2 Kanaris Cummings, Stone Mountain’s 22 Samari Moore, and Stone Mountain’s 12 Abdullah Mini (Special Photo DeKalb County School District)

Devon Barnes connected for six points in the fourth quarter as the Saints cruised to the win.

Cedar Grove held just a 5-4 lead in the first quarter after Shawn Hazelton’s basket with 5:50 remaining. Jeffery Daniels started a 14-2 run to end the opening frame with a layup on an assist from Cummings and Faulkner’s steal and basket with six seconds remaining sent the Saints into the second period up 19-6.

Faulkner hit for 10 points in the second including a three-pointer as Cedar Grove built a 34-12 lead at the 1:37 mark. Bryson Dennis hit a jumper in the lane with one second left in the half to help Stone Mountain end the period on a 6-0 run.

Faulkner finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Cummings added 18 points and 11 rebounds to go with 11 points by Daniels and 10 points and 8 assists from Barnes for the Saints (2-0, 1-0).

Bryson Dennis hit for 16 points to lead the Pirates (4-1, 0-1).

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Written by Marbeth Cheathem

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