Panthers Out Dual Bulldogs As Carver-Atlanta Defeats Dutchtown 66-57 To Advance To Elite 8
Georgia High School Association State Playoff action continued on Thursday as the Carver-Atlanta Panthers hosted the Dutchtown Bulldogs in the second round of Class 5A. Dutchtowns's #1Jr. Christian Blue would get it going early for the Bulldogs with a 3-point basket to give Dutchtown the early 3-0 lead. On Carver's ensuing possession #24 Sr. Patrick Hudson would draw a shooting foul but failed to hit free throws, however the Panther's #10 Sr. Jared Miller (12 pts) would score back to back baskets to give Carver a 4-3 lead. With 5:06 to go in the first quarter, Carver's #3 Sr. Carlos Jemison would draw a shooting foul but would only make one of two to give the Panthers a 5-3 lead.
After the Bulldogs failed to make a shot on their next possession, Carver's #2 Sr. Kenny Atkins (23 pts) would draw a shooting foul and make one of two as the Panthers would go up 6-3 with 4:10 remaining in first quarter. Dutchtown would cut the Carver lead to make it a 6-5 game and then call timeout to talk things over. As quarter continued, Carver's defense began to cause problems for Bulldogs and offensively, the Panthers would go on 7-2 run to go up 13-7 with 1:20 to go but Dutchtown would manage to score to cut the Panther lead to 13-9 as the quarter would end in that score. In the second quarter, Carver's Atkins would score quickly but DutchTown's #13 Sr. Deandre Watson (18 pts) would answer back to make it 15-11 game.
After the Panthers took 17-11 lead, the Bulldog's #24 Sr. Bryce Parks would slam home a basket to cut the Carver lead to 17-13 with just under six minutes to play in half. As the second quarter continued, the Bulldogs would find themselves down 24-18 with 3:20 remaining in the half but a foul drawn by Carver's Jemison would give the Panthers a 26-18 lead. Things would get intense when a loose ball would lead to an almost ejection of Dutchtown’s #2 Sr. Luther Moore, who would foul out later in the fourth, when a scramble for the ball would get a little physical. Both teams would be issued a warning and the Bulldogs would be awarded possession and would eventually cut the Panthers lead to 30-25 with 1:52 to go in the half.
Dutchtown would then go a quick 5-3 run to close out the quarter and find themselves down 33-30 at the half. In the third quarter, after a few sloppy possessions by both offenses, the Panthers would score four unanswered points forcing Dutchtown to take a timeout as Panthers led 37-30. As play continued, up 39-32 a technical foul would be called on the Bulldog's Moore leading to Carver made free throws and a basket by #24 Sr. Patrick Hudson after receiving possession as the Panthers would go up 43-32 with 2:10 to go in the third. The Bulldogs would then score 6 unanswered points to cut Carver lead to 43-38 with 1:00 to go in third. Carver would then score 4 unanswered points of their own to build their lead back up to 47-38 as the third quarter came to an end.
In the fourth quarter, Dutchtown's Watson would score thirteen seconds into the period making it a 47-40 game in favor of the Panthers. After cutting the Carver lead to 6, a foul called on the Bulldog's Moore would send Carver’s #0 Sr. Dorian Watkins to the line but he would fail to make the foul shots and that would lead to a Dutchtown basket by Watson making it a 50-46 game. On the next Carver possession a foul and technical foul, both on the Bulldogs, would give Panthers a chance to increase their lead, making two of three free throws to make it a 52-46 game but the Bulldogs would answer with a 3-point basket by Watson to make it a 52-49 game with 4:57 remaining.
As play continued the Panthers would increase their lead to 6 but a foul drawn by Dutchtown's #23 Jr. Myles Johnson would allow the Bulldogs to make it a 55-50 game after he made one of two free throws. The Panthers would then go up 57-50 after Hudson would come up with the steal and assist to Atkins for a layup making it a 57-50 game with 2:07 to go in the fourth. Down 60-52 with 1:35, to go, the Bulldogs would get a big 3-point basket from Blue to make it a 60-55 game. The Bulldogs would get a few more good looks for 3-point baskets but failed to connect and a few made foul shots by the Panthers would lead to Carver getting the 66-57 win to advance in the GHSA 5A tournament. The Panthers move on to the Elite 8 and will face Fayette County, who defeated Columbia 66-45.