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St. Pius Football to Face Buford in State Championship

And other Golden Lions sports news from the last week.

As exams and the Christmas break approach, the St. Pius football team advanced to the Georgia High School Association AAA State Championship game with a semi-final win last Friday night. The basketball teams began region play last week, and swimming and diving opened its season. Wrestling hit the mats twice during the same stretch.

The Golden Lion football team hosted North Hall in the semi-final round of the state playoffs. St. Pius (12-2) used two touchdowns each from Jack Spear and Ryan Braswell to earn a 31-6 win and a spot in the state championship game this Friday at the Georgia Dome. St. Pius will face Buford at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 14. This is the first time the Golden Lions have played for the title since they won the AA state championship in 1968.

Spear rushed for one score and found tight end J.P. Graves at the pylon from 34 yards out for another. Braswell scored on runs of 38 yards and four yards and Thomas O’Leary added a 22-yard field goal to complete the scoring. The Golden Lions will face Buford, another team out of Region 7-AAA. The Wolves (11-3) knocked off Cartersville 21-10 to advance to the game. Buford will be the third team from Region 7 that St. Pius has faced in the playoffs with Dawson County and North Hall being the others. The two teams have met only twice back in the 1984 and 1985 seasons with each school winning once.

Boys' basketball opened up Region 6-AAA play with a loss at Cedar Grove on Tuesday evening. The Golden Lions (5-2, 1-1) then bounced back to defeat Towers 53-27 behind 16 points from Nick Harris and 14 points from Will Maguire. Maguire had 14 in an overtime win over Riverwood 54-46 while Tyler Gee added 12. St. Pius will travel to region foe Cross Keys on Tuesday night while the region contest at Decatur scheduled for Friday is in the process of being re-scheduled due to the football championship game.

Girls' basketball, ranked No. 8 in the AAA poll, took all three games last week.  The Golden Lions (6-2, 2-0) opened region play with a 54-14 win over Cedar Grove. Asia Durr and Jasmine Carter each scored 19 points in the win. Durr scored 15 and grabbed 12 rebounds in the 56-10 win against Towers. Carter and Mackenzie Garrison chipped in 13 apiece. On Saturday, the Golden Lions knocked off Riverwood, 48-34, behind 28 points from Durr. St. Pius will travel to Cross Keys on Tuesday night and await a schedule change for the Decatur game.

Swimming and diving opened the season last week. The Golden Lions swept matches with Dunwoody and Greater Atlanta Christian. St. Pius is at Lakeside on Tuesday and will then participate in the Madeline Brown Invitational at Emory Saturday as well as host the Margaret Gilbert Invitational the same day.

Wrestling defeated Lakeside in a tense match 38-37 on Wednesday. The grapplers then travelled to the Brookwood Invitational where Quinn Peragine finished third in his weight class. The Golden Lions host an area match on Wednesday at 5 p.m. before participating in the Cherokee Invitational on Saturday at Cherokee High School.

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