ALBANY -- It's a not a formula written in stone, but it's almost impossible to win if you have more turnovers than points.
That's what happened to the Sherwood Christian Academy girls on Thursday in a 40-28 loss to Valwood in the semifinals of the GISA 3-AA tournament at SCA.
The second-seeded Lady Eagles had split the two regular season games against Valwood and were seeded higher, but they couldn't overcome 31 turnovers, and had trouble shooting all afternoon.
"We didn't run our offense and we didn't make our shots,'' SCA coach Rebecca Fyock said. "We're probably pretty equal, but they made the steals and made the layups. That was the difference.''
Valwood (10-10 and 4-4 in the regular season Region 3-AA) never trailed, and put the game away by holding SCA to only four points in the third quarter. The Lady Eagles (9-13 and 4-4 in Region 3-AA) were held scoreless for almost nine minutes. Maggie O'Connor, an eighth-grader, scored with 2:00 left in the half, and SCA didn't score again until Princess Williams came up with an and-one play with 1:10 left in the third. Williams scored all four of SCA's third quarter points.
Williams, who came off the bench, did everything she could to lift Sherwood, leading SCA in scoring with nine points, and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. She also blocked a shot and made two steals. Katie Foster added five points for SCA. Valwood's Hope Jackson led everyone with 14 points and Courtney Harris scored 10 points and led Valwood with five steals.
Despite the loss, the SCA girls still advance next week's state tournament.
TIFTAREA 47 BOYS, SGA 39:
How bad was it?
"It couldn't have gotten any worse,'' Southwest Georgia Academy boys basketball coach David Byrne said.
Byrne was talking about a 17-3 start by Tiftarea that buried his team early in the GISA Region 3-AA semifinals. Byrne's kids came back, but fell just short.
The two teams couldn't have been closer. Both had 10-14 records, both went 4-4 in the region race and they split two games with each other. They were so close it took a coin flip to decide who was No. 2 and No. 3 for the region tournament. Tiftarea won the toss, then won everything else. The Panthers hit their first four shots and six of the first eight to romp out to the 17-3 lead.
To make things worse, SGA's Parker Adams picked up two quick fouls and sat out most of the first quarter. Then Adams and the Warriors stormed back.
Adams scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half, and his long 3 with 3:36 left in the game cut the lead to 38-35. But Tiftarea, which made just 5 of 21 shots from the field in the second half, put the game away at the free throw line, nailing the next eight free throws to build the lead to 46-35. Tiftarea made 10 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter, after making only 7 of 15 during the first three quarters. Wes Carter led Tiftarea with 19 points and blocked three shots.
"It was looking pretty bleak at the beginning of the game,'' Adams said. "I was on the bench with two fouls, and I was feeling pretty helpless. But we came back. We never gave up. We (cut it to three points) but then we lost momentum and couldn't get it back at the end of the game.''
Region 3-A Tournament
TERRELL ACADEMY BOYS 51, WESTWOOD 39:
It did not do Westwood much good to contain Terrell Academy's leading scorer, Jonathan Farr. Riley Davis and Clay Willis took up the slack for the Eagles, scoring 16 points each.
With the win, Terrell Academy advances to the GISA Region 3-A title game against Fullington Academy at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in Fullington.
"I think we did a good job on (Westwood standout) Mason Jones who only had three points," said Terrell Academy coach Rundy Foster, whose team is 17-3. "They were collapsing their defense on Jonathan and the other two just stepped it up and hit some good shots."
Westwood was led by Andrew Adams with 17 points.
TERRELL ACADEMY GIRLS 64, WESTWOOD 52:
Terrell Academy advanced to the region tile game where it lost last year against Fullington Academy. The Lady Eagles, who rebounded by beating Fullington for the state crown last year, had won the previous five region tournament titles before 2009.
Terrell's girls will play Crisp Academy for the crown at 7 p.m. Saturday.
"Hopefully, we'll get it back this year," said Terrell Academy coach Keith Jones, whose team is 15-7.
Millie Foster led Terrell Academy with 18 points, followed by Marlee Locke (17) and Maura Milliron (14).
"We stood out on offense, we had a really good offensive showing," Jones said. "We shot well from the perimeter and did a good job of taking it to the hole. Sixty points or more is a pretty impressive number for us."
Virginia Vereen led Westwood with 12 points.
FULLINGTON BOYS 65, RANDOLPH SOUTHERN 45:
No. 1 seed Fullington built a 25-point halftime lead and went on to win the GISA Region 3-A semifinals. Randolph Southern (11-12) was led by Alex Weeks (10 points) and Michael Ledford (9 points) and plays Saturday in the consolation round against Westwood at Fullington.
"Fullington is a much larger team, but our kids played well in the second half,'' Randolph Southern coach Robert Bryant said.