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Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 6:48am

Volleyball Teams Head to Finals Weekend; Grady Defense Suffocates St. Pius X

Lovett and Westminster are squaring off on the gridiron this Friday, but first there was a Class A/AA state volleyball quarterfinal showdown between the two Buckhead rivals. Westminster had defeated Lovett exactly two weeks earlier in the Area 5-A/AAA championship by a score of three games to one, so the Wildcats again had home-court advantage.
This time, however, Lovett turned the tables. The Lions rolled to three straight victories of 25-19, 25-21, 25-21 to earn a place in the semifinals. They traveled to Blessed Trinity to go up against the top-seeded Titans on Wednesday, but fell to the Titans, 25-13, 25-18, 25-17. Through four matches in the state tournament, Blessed Trinity had not dropped a single game and no game was closer than 25-18. The Titans took out Providence Christian, Savannah Christian, and Our Lady of Mercy prior to meeting Lovett. BT now faces Athens Academy in nthe Class 2A/A finals Saturday.
While Blessed Trinity improved to 56-7 for the season, While Blessed Trinity improved to 55-7 for the season, Woodward advanced its record to 53-10 by reaching the Class AAA finals. The War Eagles, who have not lost a match since Sept. 18, beat Riverwood 3-0 in the second round before racing past Cartersville 3-0 in the quarters. They defeated Oconee County 25-14, 25-22 and 25-21 on Wednesday for a spot in the title match.
In Class AAAAA, Northview also went undefeated en route to the semifinals. The Titans defeated North Cobb 3-0 in round two and handled Brookwood 3-0 in the quarters, making no game closer than 25-13 against the Broncos. Northview defeated Harrison in Wednesday’s semis.
Chattahoochee will face Pope in the Class AAAA finals on Sat. The Cougars defeated Marist while the Greyhounds took out Johns Creek in the semis.

Grady’s defense has been virtually impenetrable this season, and St. Pius X felt the wrath of it last Friday night. The Grey Knights (7-1) prevailed 7-6 in a defensive struggle to take control of Region 5A-AAA at the expense of the Golden Lions (6-2).
St. Pius took an early 3-0 lead and almost made it stand up until halftime thanks to a stout defense of its own. However, Grady running back Marcus Caffey finally broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown with 3:38 remaining before intermission.
That score alone proved to be enough for the Grey Knights. Their block of a 31-yard field goal in the second quarter turned out decisive, because another field goal early in the third quarter was all St. Pius could muster. The Golden Lions had their chances, but a flurry of second-half turnovers—including a fumble in the red zone late in the third quarter—sealed the home team’s fate.
Caffey finished with 19 carries for 153 yards. The junior, a heralded recruit along with teammate Damian Swann, is thought to have South Carolina atop his wish list for 2012 and he also has offers from Arkansas and Kentucky with Georgia expected to follow suit soon. Swann, a senior cornerback who is strongly considering Alabama and Georgia among many other schools, caught just two passes for 24 yards on Friday but continued to lead the way on defense.
Grady’s defense has allowed only 49 points this entire season, barely more than six per game. The unit posted three consecutive shutouts at one point and has given up a mere 26 points in six games since a 17-14 loss to Blessed Trinity on September 3.
In all-Fulton County matchups, Riverwood crushed North Springs 49-13, Roswell blanked Northview 44-0, and Mays destroyed Douglass 56-0. Meanwhile, Westminster took care of Maynard Jackson 32-16, Lovett trounced South Atlanta 41-7, Blessed Trinity edged Therrell 24-20, Chattahoochee stayed undefeated with a 49-14 win over Cass, Milton suffered a 28-21 loss to West Forsyth, and Centennial fell to North Forsyth 21-14.

Lovett and Westminster were big winners at the Carrollton Last Chance cross country meet over the weekend. Both the girls and boys teams from each school won titles; Lovett in Class A/AA and Westminster in Class AAA.
Lovett’s Parker Whitlock won the A/AA boys race in 16:21 while teammate Andrew Frazier took third in 16:57. The girls place five runners in the Top 18, led by Hailey Branch. Westminster’s boys also placed five in the Top 18, with Jake Candler leading the way to victory in the AAA race. Parker Rhodes was second overall in the girls competition as the Wildcats cruised to the title.
In the boys Class AAAAA competition, Northview took second place and Centennial finished third behind Marietta. On the girls side, Brooke Koblitz and Kelly Meyer came in first and second, respectively, as Centennial rolled to victory.


Stephen Black

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