ALPHARETTA — Ty Toney set the tone in the Region 6-AAAAAA semifinals.
The Alpharetta senior guard poured in 31 points and teammate Carlos Burse added 19 as the No. 2 seed Raiders defeated No. 3 seed Lambert 75-53 and clinched a spot in the region championship game on Friday at Alpharetta High School.
The Longhorns (17-10) trailed 44-35 entering the fourth quarter before the Raiders (18-9) pulled away behind 14 fourth quarter points from Toney.
"I think Ty Toney played a great game today," Lambert head coach Scott Bracco said. "We had a tough time defending him in the full court. Once we got behind we had to press and then he just took over the game."
Lambert held Alpharetta scoreless for more than five minutes during one stretch in the first quarter and pulled ahead 11-2 with the help of an early 3-pointer by Jake Morris followed by two from Logan Bush.
Bush finished with a team-high 13 points but was held to four in the second half, and no other Longhorn reached double figures.
Toney took control of the game in the second quarter when he scored nine points, including a long 3-pointer that he drained at the first half buzzer — despite being double teamed by Bush and Morris — to give the Raiders a 31-25 advantage at halftime.
The Raiders scored a quick basket in the opening seconds of the third quarter, then recovered a loose ball and took their first double-digit lead of the night on a 3-pointer by Connor Ramsey.
"I felt like that turnover at the beginning of the third quarter kind of put us in a hole," Bracco said.
"... They had a lot of momentum going after they banged that three the second possession into the third quarter."
Lambert cut the gap to nine points going into the final period after trailing by as much as 15 in the third, but Ramsey hit another 3-pointer just 15 seconds in and the Raiders’ lead never dipped back below 10 points.
Toney pushed the advantage back to 15 points with an offensive rebound and turnaround jumper with 5:53 to play, and Burse put the exclamation point on the victory with a slam dunk and free throw with 1:24 remaining to extend the lead to 20 points.