Maurice Dixon

@WriturRece |

COLUMBUS (GA) – St. Francis turned up the intensity in the second quarter and Holy Innocents couldn’t keep up.

CJ Riley (12 points) played a huge role in the Knights building onto their lead and cruising to an 83-54 win over the Golden Bears in the 2018 GHSA Class A private semifinals at Columbus State University (Frank G. Lumpkin Center) on March 2.

For the championship on March 9 at Georgia Tech, St. Francis will compete against Aquinas, which defeated Eagles Landing Christian in the semis.

Dwon Odom and Sam Hines were just as impactful as Riley, scoring 20 and 16 points, respectively. Odom was too quick to be kept out of the lane (seven of his nine baskets were layups) and Hines shot 8-of-10 from the foul line while blocking three shots.

With the Knights ahead by double digits in the second quarter, Riley put together a personal scoring run (9-0) which blew the game open. After sinking two free throws with 4:35 left in the half, the junior guard drilled a 3 then turned back-to-back steals into easy layins for a 32-10 score.

Eventually, St. Francis entered the locker room ahead 40-18.

In the second half, Odom mainly showcased his ability to get to the rim, which kept the Knights well ahead of the Golden Bears. Chase Ellis and Caleb Snyder also scored in double digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Senior Matthew Meadows found his stroke in the second half on his way to scoring a game-high 26 points, including five 3-pointers. Joshua Smith added 15 points.