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  • Michael MacEachern

Mountain Lions move on to title game with 72-55 win over Clayton State

Photo courtesy of YHC Athletics

Mackenzie Johnson scored 27 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead No. 6 seed Young Harris College past No. 2 seed Clayton State University 72-55 in the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference Women's Basketball Tournament Thursday (March 2) evening at the Storm Dome.

The Mountain Lions won their fourth consecutive game to improved to 15-13 and now advance to their first PBC Tournament final Saturday (March 4) at 1 p.m. They will either face No. 4 seed University of North Georgia and top seed Georgia Southwestern State University in the title game. The Lakers fell to 18-11.


  • Clayton State led 16-12 after the first quarter, but the Mountain Lions took the lead for good at 22-20 after Kalen Surles sank a three-pointer with 6:10 left before halftime. That started a 16-2 run for YHC that saw the Mountain Lions open up a 35-22 lead on a Trinity Edwards' layup with 1:44 remaining.

  • Young Harris, which outscored the Lakers 26-14 in the second quarter, hit 60 percent (9-of-15) from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range in the stanza.

  • Clayton State got within eight points (38-30) at the half, but the Mountain Lions extended their lead to as many as 17 points (57-40) on a Johnson layup 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.

  • The Lakers used an 11-0 run to cut the YHC lead down to six points (51-57) with 4:29 to play.

  • However, Young Harris thwarted the Clayton State comeback as they ended the game on a 15-4 run.

  • Johnson, who has 21 double doubles this season, became the program's third 1,000-pointer scorer as she connected on a turnaround jumper with 8:24 left in the third quarter. She is now No. 2 on the all-time scoring list in the YHC record book with 1,013 points. She moved past YHC Athletics Hall of Famer Lauren Smith (1,004) on the scoring charts.

  • Dustie Obah had 16 points as she hit three three-pointers. She also grabbed eight rebounds and had four assists.

  • Surles and JaMari Frederick each posted nine points. Surles added five rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Frederick hit three three-pointers.

  • Young Harris held the Lakers to just 31.3 percent shooting (21-of-67), including 13.6 percent (3-of-22) from long distance.

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