The Wildcats (12-1) got up early and made 11 3-pointers on the night to put away the upstart Eagles (6-2), who couldn't hold on after a dramatic last-second win against Bowdon on Thursday.
"We went out there and played hard. I think both teams played hard the first period. Our depth and speed, I think, ended up taking its toll on them. We forced some turnovers that led to some easy shots on the basket," Villa Rica coach Jason Robinson said. "In the first period, we made one 3, then in the second we hit two two-point baskets and four three-point baskets."
Josh Lay used a 14-point first quarter to reach a game-high 18 points for the game, while Delano Mims made four 3-pointers en route to a 13-point effort and Xavier Hughes added nine.
For MZ, it was Matt Turner's eight points leading the way, while Nate Warren added four.
The Eagles will now face Central for third place in the tournament today at 5:30 p.m. at The Coliseum at the University of West Georgia, while the Wildcats will tip against Handley (Ala.) for the tournament title at 8:30 p.m.
"We played them last year at their place and they beat us by one. We have them on the schedule after Christmas at our place. It will be a good game. [Their] coach does a great job. They're almost the mirror image of what we do. It will be a fun, challenging game for our guys plus at a good venue there at West Georgia. We're looking forward to it," Robinson said.
In other Holiday Classic action from Friday:
Paulding County boys 56, Bowdon 47: An early 11-2 lead wasn't enough for the Red Devils (3-5), as the Patriots (7-5) made their run in the second and third quarters to take control and win the game.
Bowdon led 20-11 after the first quarter, but the Patriots used a 14-4 second quarter to grab a one-point lead at halftime. From there, Paulding County got another 10-point swing in the third quarter and the Red Devils were never quite able to get enough going offensively to close the gap.
"Fundamentally, we still have to pick it up. We have to continue to play hard, execute on offense and defense and pick up our intensity. It really doesn't count until January," Bowdon coach Antonio Smith said.
What Smith is referring to is the start of the region schedule that will begin on Jan. 4. For now, the first-year coach is trying to integrate his system during the beginning of the season, while other coaches had the opportunity to do so over the summer.
The losses, aside from Friday's nine-point setback, have been by a combined nine points in four games, so Smith isn't ready to panic just yet.
"I didn't have the guys a lot over the summer, and that's a big difference. Once they get accustomed to the system and the way we play and what I expect out of them, we'll be fine. It doesn't count until January. That's when the clock is really on them. It's just trial and error. I think us being 3-5 is pretty good, considering the fact I didn't have the guys over the summer. They're getting accustomed to the system. It's better than being 0-8. It's a marathon," Smith said.
Marcus Thurman led the Red Devils with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Juwan Maze added eight points and Chris Keith scored seven and grabbed seven boards. Bowdon just didn't have an answer for the Patriots 6-foot-7 Raasean Davis, who tallied 23 points while picking up 13 rebounds for the double-double.
Now the Red Devils will get a preview of their Region 5-AA opener against rival Bremen in today's 11:30 a.m. game at The Coliseum.
"The focus is always to win. For us, we just have to keep the intensity going. They're good kids and good players. We just need to learn how to play basketball a little better. A win [today] would kind of solidify us, in regards of going into the region," Smith said. "Just rebounding, executing and gaining confidence. It will work out."