The St. Pius X boys’ basketball team defeated West Laurens 66-57 last Thursday night in the second round of the boys GHSA AAAA state playoffs. 

The win set the stage for an Elite Eight matchup this week at home between the Golden Lions and Americus-Sumter. The two teams met in last year’s quarterfinals, with Americus-Sumter on top.

Golden Lions juniors Brookes Kahlert and Daniel Beverly each finished with 13 points in the victory over West Laurens, the No. 27 team in the classification.

“We were able to make big plays down the stretch in a tight game with a lot on the line,” St. Pius X head coach Aaron Parr said. “That’s a tribute to the team’s confidence level and belief. Our guys have so much belief in their ability to perform through adversity. We showed lots of resiliency.”

The Golden Lions are prepared for an exciting game and sellout crowd in the Mark Kelly Gymnasium. Parr added that he believes his team is starting to peak at the right time and is looking forward to Tuesday evening’s competition.

The St. Pius X girls’ basketball team lost 56-46 to Woodward Academy last Wednesday night in the second round of the playoffs. The team finished with a 21-8 record, capturing the Region 8-4A Championship. The Golden Lions finish ranked No. 12 in AAAA and No. 89 in Georgia, according to MaxPreps.com.

“The biggest thing is how much fun we had together as a team,” St. Pius head coach Kyle Snipes said. “Of course, winning is fun but the overall feel around the team was great. Everyone got along and enjoyed being around each other. There were no egos on this team, and no one really cared who took the credit.  It was often a different kid each night stepping up and helping us. They were a coachable group, and they re-energized me.”

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