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High school basketball: Ace Bailey goes off for 32 points and 15 rebounds to send No. 13 McEachern to state title game

Indians use 9-0 run mid-way through the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

Five-star Rutgers signee Ace Bailey put together another signature performance in the Georgia Class AAAAAAA state semifinals, recording 32 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 13 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) to a 63-56 victory over Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) Saturday afternoon.

An exciting final eight plus minutes of action saw the Indians go on a deciding 9-0 run mid-way through the fourth quarter to secure the victory following an 8-0 run from Wheeler that cut the deficit from eight points to 47-46 with 6:55 remaining in the contest.

Bailey ignited the McEachern run with a three-pointer from beyond NBA range on the left wing to extend the Indians lead to 50-46 with just over five minutes remaining. Senior forward Nnadozie Onyirimba grabbed a Bailey miss nearly two minutes later and converted an and-one to continue the momentum.

A transition layup followed by one made free throw extended the McEachern lead to 56-46 with under three minutes to go in the game.

Although Wheeler clawed back to make thing interesting late, Bailey ultimately saved the day on the defensive end of the court as he erased a shot in the final 10 seconds that would have cut the deficit to 59-56.

McEachern (26-5) advances to the GHSA Class AAAAAAA state title game where the Indians will face off against the winner of Grayson versus Milton on March 9. The Indians look to capture their second state title in program history and first since running the table in 2019.

Bailey continued his strong play in the state tournament after putting up 33 points and 16 rebounds in a state quarterfinal victory over Norcross and recording 33 points and 14 rebounds in a victory over Newton in the Round of 16. Bailey also recorded 33 points and 17 rebounds in the opening round of the state tournament.

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