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REGION 1-AAAA ROUNDUP: Bainbridge boys region champs!; Lee girls fall short (UPDATES: fixes lede paragraph)

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

MACON -- Bainbridge coach Rickey McCullough doesn't wanna brag -- but his team has won 17 games in a row.

And that includes Saturday's 58-49 downing of Hardaway in the Region 1-AAAA finals behind 14 points from Justin Harris and 10 each from Devario Thomas and Rohan Gaines.

"We were 7-4 after losing to Thomasville in the finals of their Christmas tournament -- and we haven't lost since," said McCullough, whose team grabs a No. 1 seed for next week's state tourney after improving to 24-4. "I'm real proud of the kids, but even more so I have to say that in my 36 years of doing this, I don't think I've ever had a group of kids who are more ready to reach their potential than this one."

And what's even more amazing? Not only was this BHS' second consecutive region title, but the Bearcats did it with only one returning starter from last year's team in Thomas.

Bainbridge will host next week's first round of state Friday night.

The Bainbridge girls, meanwhile, won their consolation game, 73-52, against Hardaway's girls Saturday, although no other details were available at The Herald's press time.

The Lady Bearcats were upset in the Region 1-AAAA semis Friday night by Lee County, which lost in the region title game Saturday.

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WESTSIDE GIRLS DENY LEE

MACON -- In championship games, teams sometimes have to find that extra burst of energy to achieve championship glory. Westside did just that Saturday against Lee County, inching away late for a 56-44 win to claim the GHSA Region 1-AAAA title.

The game itself was anything but an easy stroll to victory. Both teams not only exchanged the lead back and forth for the first three quarters, but it was also a physical contest on both sides.

Indeed, Westside had to reach down deep for a splash of energy against Lee County. Worn from the grind of a region tournament and from having played a late game the night before, the Lady Seminoles found a way to outlast the Lady Trojans.

A view from the Lee County sideline saw players worn down as well. The night before, the Lady Trojans upset Bainbridge, 50-47.

"You could look at their players and ours and just tell that the legs weren't there," Lee County head coach Fran McPherson said. "When that starts happening, shots don't fall sometimes. Everybody's gone hard for three games, and the fatigue factor was definitely taking its toll."

Lee County's Lindsey Crawford proved tough to stop, scoring 20 points, thanks partially to her size advantage in the post.

Kelly Polk added 10 for Lee.