THOMASVILLE -- It just wasn't to be for Mitchell County's girls, despite another huge game from Tiona Burley, who finished the 57-49 loss to Thomasville in the Region 1-AA title game on Friday with a game-high 23 points.
The championship, meanwhile, was Thomasville's first since 1998.
Thomasville won this year's tournament with defense and 3-point shooting. After allowing 33 first-half points and trailing by five at intermission, the Lady Bulldogs hunkered down on defense. Mitchell County managed just five field goals in the second half.
The game was close throughout. Mitchell County controlled the first half with rebounds, led by Burley. She scored 12 of 23 in the first half.
THOMASVILE BOYS 60, MITCHELL COUNTY 53:
Even a depleted Thomasville boys team is the best in Region 1-AA.
Playing without three players suspended following Thursday's semifinal game against Berrien, the Bulldogs staved off a late Mitchell County comeback Friday night in the title game.
Despite the lack of depth, the Bulldogs didn't miss a beat early in the first half. Behind Robert Carter's 13 points and Trey Gosier's nine, the Bulldogs surged to a 36-21 halftime lead.
But Mitchell's Kentavious Silas drained a 3-pointer, as did Stacey Butler, whose jumper cut the lead to 55-49.
Mitchell County's comeback was thwarted in the waning moments.
Thomasville held a 57-51 lead when Silas drove to the basket. Gosier stripped the ball away, which resulted in a jump ball. The arrow belonged to the Bulldogs, and so did the game.