Although winter sports are starting to kick into high gear at St. Pius, the Golden Lion football team continues to march on in the GHSA AAA state playoffs. The Golden Lions advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2006 with a win last week. Both basketball teams opened the home schedules with wins, and wrestling hit the mats for the first time this season.
St. Pius (11-2) defeated Washington County on Friday night 40-35. Jack Spear passed for two touchdowns, one each to Branden Mitchell and Nick Ruffin, and Ryan Braswell rushed for three scores. Mitchell also ran for 164 yards. Thomas O’Leary added two field goals of 43 and 45-yards. The Golden Lions forced three turnovers and held Washington County on downs inside the red zone in the fourth quarter holding a precarious 34-28 lead.
The Golden Lions will next face Region 7-AAA top seed North Hall, which knocked off Peach County 52-10 to advance to the semifinals and win its tenth straight home playoff game. St. Pius won the coin toss for home field and will face the Trojans (11-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at George B. Maloof Stadium.
The Trojans and Golden Lions last met in the playoffs in 2009 with St. Pius taking a 17-3 second round victory. The two schools also played in the regular season in 2010 and 2011 with the Golden Lions winning each game.
Boys' basketball opened the home season with a 43-25 victory over West Hall to move to 3-1. Nick Harris led all scorers with 16 points. Harris also added eight rebounds and four blocks in the game. The Golden Lions will travel to Cedar Grove Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the first region contest of the year. The games later in the week, both home games, are currently in the process of being re-scheduled with football hosting a home semi-final game.
Girls' basketball, ranked No. 8 in the AAA poll, split its two games last week. The Golden Lions (3-2) knocked off West Hall in the home opener 50-19 behind 21 points from Jasmine Carter and 11 points from Miah Allen. St. Pius lost to No. 2 North Gwinnett (AAAAAA) 63-45 on Saturday. Carter and Asia Durr led the Golden Lions with 13 points apiece. The Golden Lions open Region 6-AAA play at Cedar Grove on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Wrestling opened the season last week. Quinn Peragine took third place in the Woodstock Invitational in the 126-pound weight class. Earlier in the week the Golden Lions dropped two matches to Norcross and Duluth. The grapplers take to the mat at home Wednesday as they host Lakeside before participating in the Brookwood Invitational this weekend.
Swimming and diving open the season Tuesday against Dunwoody at Lakeside at 7:30 p.m. and will travel to Greater Atlanta Christian on Thursday at 5 p.m.