ALBANY -- Southland coach Paula McDonald knows this win almost slipped away.
Ahead by 20 points in the fourth quarter, McDonald admits her girls were just trying to "run out the clock and hold on for a win."
That, however, almost didn't happen thanks to a strong push by SCA coach Rebecca Fyock's Lady Eagles, who cut the lead to single digits with two minutes left, but never pulled closer than five points before the clock ran out and the Lady Raiders won, 48-43.
"There wasn't a point where I didn't think we had it under control, but I was not happy with our level of intensity toward the end," said McDonald, whose team improved to 5-2 and was led by Sara Cathryn Parker's 17 points, followed by 10 from Alex Lindsey. "I just talked to them afterward about maintaining pressure and the importance of that against any team we play, no matter how far ahead -- or behind -- we are."
Sherwood (4-3) was led by 15 points from Emilee Cook.
Fyock, however, is still waiting to see a complete game from her girls.
"We didn't come out (flat) or anything, we just didn't have a great (first half)," said the coach, whose team was outscored, 18-8 in the first and 15-7 in the second, but then outscored the Lady Raiders, 19-6, in the final frame. "We did better when we switched to a 1-3-1 zone and stopped Sara Cathryn and we closed strong."
TERRELL ACADEMY GIRLS 37, Glenwood (ALA.) 31:
The Lady Eagles seem to be jelling, winning for the second time in as many games Friday thanks to a team-high nine points from Carley Law, followed by Alex Barfield and Miller Foster, both of whom scored 8.
Terrell, which won the Class A state title a year ago, is now 4-5 and won't play again until the Robert Toombs Christmas Tournament next Saturday, opening up with David Emanuel, one of the teams to beat
TURNER COUNTY GIRLS, BOYS WIN:
The Lady Rebels improved to 2-1 behind 16 points from T'Keyah Cheevers, 15 from Demetria King and 10 from Zeniah Coley in a 58-15 rout of Stewart County.
The boys game, meanwhile, was far more exciting as the Rebels earned their first win, 57-49, of the season to improve to 1-2 behind 17 points from Demarcus Daniels and 13 from Demonte Madison. Turner also got 12 points from Chris Spears and 11 from Detavian Daniels.
DOOLY COUNTY GIRLS 62, AMERICUS-SUMTER 61:
The only way to describe this one is heartbreak, said Americus-Sumter coach Evelyn Wright.
Ahead, 51-35, at one point in the third quarter, the Lady Panthers let a huge lead slip away and lost by a point, despite a game-high 33 from star Jayme Gilbert, who is averaging 30-plus points a game this season.
"I think we're a little shaken up from this," said Wright, whose team will try to recover as they visit Dougherty tonight. "We made a lot of mistakes -- turnovers, unnecessary fouls, things like that -- and we just didn't finish the game like we should've. It's very disappointing."
Americus-Sumter, which was missing starting point guard Kayle Barnes with the flu Friday, dropped to 3-5 after the loss.
The Lady Panthers visit Dougherty tonight.
TATTNALL SQUARE GIRLS 54, DWS 44:
Heather Lash led the Lady Knights with 10, followed by 9 from Lauren Fulford, but it wasn't enough as the guard tandem for Tattanall of Peaches Campbell (18 points) and Faren Harris (11) was too much.
"That duo is one of the best in the state, no doubt," said DWS coach Ty Kinslow, whose team fell to 4-3 with the loss after starting the year 3-1. "It was 19-7 at the end of the first, and we adjusted to make a game of it, but we knew Tattanall, with those two and their post player (Shenice Stanley, 12 points) would be tough for our girls to handle. And they were."
The Lady Knights play Central Fellowship today in a game that will preceded the boys contest.
SEMINOLE COUNTY GIRLS 59, CALHOUN COUNTY 50:
Keiyanna Harris led Calhoun with 14 points, but it wasn't enough to stop the Lady Indians' duo of Shavonte Smith (14 points) and Katrice Brown (13).
Calhoun slipped to 3-5 on the season.
WESTWOOD GIRLS 50, SGA 37:
Coley Westbrook led the Lady Wildcats (4-2) with nine points.
"I just think we are finally starting to score a little better," Westwood coach Jenni Smith said. "We're putting the ball in the hole a little better and playing good defense."
Southwest Georgia was led by Haley Chappell, who finished with 15 points.
Westwood hosts Tiftarea at 3:30 p.m. today.
AMERICUS-- The Americus-Sumter Panthers beat Dooly County, 47-37, on Friday night to move to 3-5 under first-year coach Michael Coley, who said his team played their "most disciplined game of the season (Friday night)."
"It was a 25-25 tie at halftime, but we came out, had a big third quarter, outscored them 13-7 in the third and never looked back," Coley said. "We stuck to the game plan, which was to be patient on offense with our shot selection."
Keldrick Cochran led the Panthers in scoring for the first time this season, dropping a team-high 18, while no other player scored in double figures.
"Keldrick blocked out well and got a lot of offensive and defensive rebounds," said Coley of his leading scorer, who posted a double-double with 16 total rebounds. "He's did a great job of doing what we think he's capable of."
The Panthers visit Dougherty tonight, winning the first meeting on their home floor earlier this year.
SHERWOOD BOYS 61, SOUTHLAND 44:
The Eagles seemed to be hitting their stride -- and doing so without former leading scorer Dequan Green.
Green left the program earlier this week in hopes of transferring to Westover, though it didn't seem to matter as coach Matt Ruta's eagles had four scorers in double figures for the first time all season to make up for it.
Wesley Pittman finished with a team-high 18 points -- all on 3-pointers -- while the Eagles also got big games from Gary Holloway (15), while both John Schramm and Brannan Anthony, who each added 13 apiece.
"There's not doubt we played really well
together (Friday night)," said Ruta, whose team improved to 3-2 after starting 1-2 and coming off a 20-6 season in 2008. "We played selfless basketball and it's the most consistent on defense we've been all year. We stopped dribble penetration, went up and got rebounds and really shared the basketball on the offensive end. I felt very proud after this win -- and the effort."
Southland, meanwhile, was led by Andres Chaparro with 11, followed by Jose Hernandez with 9.
Sherwood now gets set for a trip to Crisp Academy next Friday, then will hit the road and head South to Orlando, Fla., to face Ruta's old school, First Academy, as part of an eight-team Christmas tournament.
TERRELL ACADEMY BOYS 45, GLENWOOD (ALA.) 22:
Still perfect. Still rolling.
The Eagles got a game-high 17 points from Riley Davis, while Clay Willis scored 10 to keep the Eagles unbeaten at 6-0.
"We're just getting better offensively every game," said Eagles coach Rundy Foster, whose team will join the girls at the same Christmas tournament next week at Robert Toombs. "Considering we have six wins with only six practices (since football season ended), I would say I am pleased with the progress were making."
Whether it was good defense or not, Glenwood struggled all game, scoring just two points in the final quarter.
WESTWOOD BOYS 40, SGA 36:
Remember the last game a week ago between the Wildcats and Warriors? Where SGA jumped out to a 10-0 lead, then gave up 28 unanswered points and only scored 13 the rest of the way in a 44-23 loss?
Well, this one was very different, said Westwood coach Al Timmerman.
"No runs this time," the coach laughed. "It was not only a little closer, but this time it seemed like neither team could put the ball in the basket."
The Wildcats improved to 3-1 overall behind 13 points from Andrew Adams, while both Jake Kotter and John Vereen added 9 each. The biggest lead Westwood had all night was seven late in the game thanks to two big 3-pointers to seal the win.
SGA, meanwhile, was led by 15 from Danny Doster as the Warriors remained winless on the season at 0-5.
Westwood gets back in action today at home against Tiftarea at 2 p.m.
DWS BOYS 78, TATTNALL SQUARE 48:
The Knights are off to a good start at 4-0 as Michael Matthews dropped in a team-high 19 points.
Though, DWS coach Gordy Gruhl was also pleased by another stat that stood out Friday: 18 points from Herald Super 6 selection Reggie Brown, who Gruhl said is "finally getting his basketball legs under him," after recently coming off a football season less two weeks ago in which Brown helped lead DWS to the state title game.
"He is starting to show some real progress," Gruhl said of Brown. "The first couple of games, he just didn't have that spring in his step. But every day he's looking better and better."
Shaun Jones added 13, but as for Matthews, Gruhl said he continues to be impressed with what the senior is capable of.
"Michael really shot the ball well (Friday night)," said Gruhl, whose team travels to Central Fellowship Christian today for an afternoon game. "He had been struggling a bit with his outside shot at first, but he didn't (Friday night)."
BAINBRIDGE BOYS 68, COLQUITT COUNTY 33:
The Bearcats, whose only loss so far this year came to Coffee County in a double overtime in the Lowndes Tip-Off Tournament, continued rolling the competition, getting 18 points from Devon Baulkman, 17 from Rohan Gaines and 11 from Justin Harris in the win.
"Rohan really stepped up and played like we know he can," said Bainbridge coach Ricky McCullough, whose team travels to face Cairo tonight. "We had a 14-point lead at the half and just didn't look back."
CALHOUN COUNTY BOYS 72, SEMINOLE COUNTY 67:
The Cougars are batting .500 after big games from Andre Carroll and DeShawn Jordan on Friday.
Carroll scored 23, Jordan added 22 and Calhoun not only picked up a big region win, but improved to 4-4 on the season.
"Our goal was to slow the game down and I think we did that for the first time this season," said first-year coach Marcus Shaw, whose team travels to Lee County on Tuesday. "Plus, we played well against their zone and just controlled the game from there after that, thanks to Andre and DeShawn."
Owen Parks of Seminole, meanwhile, led all scorers with 25 points.