ALBANY -- Archie Chatmon never thought this season would turn out like it did.
But sure enough, with a game against Mitchell County looming to decide the No. 2 overall spot in Region 1-AA this week, things are looking good for the Indians, who improved to 10-6 overall and 7-2 in region with a 71-534 thrashing of Early County on Saturday night.
"I've been surprised, but each game (lately), we just get a total effort," Chatmon said. "Thomasville is surely No. 1 right now, but if we can beat Mitchell, I have to think No. 2 is ours (for the taking)."
The game vs Mitchell will be Friday in Albany at 7:30 p.m.
Leading the way for the Indians on Saturday, however, was Jarvis Hicks with 17 points, followed by Tim Pierce (11 points), Larry Sanford (10) and Tyrone Culbreth (10).
Early County got strong games from Kajaune Freeman (12 points) and Jacori Taylor (10), but it wasn't enough to upend Albany.
Chatmon said the strategy against Early -- which Albany beat earlier this season by just four points in Blakely -- didn't change.
"They press a lot and I felt like we did a good job breaking that all game," he said. "That, and we took care of the ball."
The Albany High girls also beat Early County, although no other details were available at press time.
WESTWOOD GIRLS 45, SHERWOOD 25:
The Lady Wildcats improved to 9-6 on the season with a rout of Sherwood on Saturday, despite being without top scorer Virginia Vereen, who was resting her injured knee for Tuesday's mammoth showdown with Region 3-A and neighboring rival, Terrell Academy.
Even without Vereen, Westwood was effective, getting 14 points from Miller Singleton and 12 from Kyndal Tomlinson, while holding SCA to no double-figure scorers.
"Our first game against Sherwood this year was a lot closer but they've gotten a lot better since the last time we played," Westwood coach Jenni Smith said. "But also credit my girls for winning (by even more) this time without Virginia. They really stepped up."
The Lady Eagles, meanwhile, got a team-high nine points from Emilee Cook and also face a huge region game Tuesday themselves vs. SGA. Sherwood's record dropped to 6-8 overall.
SHERWOOD BOYS 50, WESTWOOD 25:
The Eagles had no trouble Saturday, beating Westwood for the second time this season.
Though. SCA coach Matt Ruta wasn't exactly pleased with the effort one night after what he called his team's most complete game of the season in a win against Southland on the road.
"I think we were tired," said Ruta, whose record is now 11-4 overall. "We got up big by halftime and led by about 25 or 30 going into the fourth quarter. I guess we played OK."
John Schramm led SCA with 15 points, followed by Wesley Pittman with 10. Jake Kotter and Mason Jones each led Westwood with 6.
If SCA can beat SGA on Tuesday in its region showdown, the Eagles will be alone in first place. SGA comes into the game 2-0 in region, while Sherwood is 3-0.
DEERFIELD BOYS 66, STRATFORD 52:
The Knights improved to 14-1 with their third win of the season against Stratford.
And although this one was closer than the other two, there was just nothing Stratford could do with the balanced scoring attack of DWS, which once again had at least four players in double figures. In fact, on Saturday, they had five.
"We're balanced, that's for sure," DWS coach Gordy Gruhl said. "But we coasted a little bit there at the end. We can't do that."
Ramello Carter and Reggie Brown led the way with 15 points each, followed by Duane Anderson (13), Michael Matthews (12) and Banks Kinslow (10).
Deerfield's win now sets the stage for a huge showdown Tuesday in Americus against Southland -- the Knights' bitter Region 3-AAA rival.
DWS GIRLS 37, STRATFORD 36, OT:
In the rubber match between the two teams after Stratford won the opener of the series, then DWS won the most recent meeting prior to Saturday, Morgan Phillips played hero for the Lady Knights.
Phillips hit a shot with less than 20 seconds to play and then pulled down the game-sealing rebound to end Stratford's threat after it missed on the final shot that could've won it.
"Morgan really played well," said DWS coach Ty Kinslow, whose team improved to 14-4 overall as a big matchup with Southland looms on Tuesday. "She didn't just score 11 points, but she had eight rebounds, two steals an a block. She really did a good job."
Not to be overshadowed was the effort of Sabrina Curry, who also scored 11 points.
Plus, DWS pulled out the win without the services of Sarah Shellhaas, who twisted her ankle Friday, and Lauren Fulford, who had to leave the game in the fourth quarter after a hard fall to the floor.
"Kids stepped up," Kinslow said. "That's what we needed."
CALHOUN COUNTY BOYS BEAT LEE, GIRLS FALL:
Lee County's girls team stayed hot, beating Calhoun, 58-23, to improve to 15-3 as the Lady Trojans once again spread the wealth.
Three players scored in double figures for Lee County: Jessica Clinton led the way with 18 points, and DaQueena Moore, who had a 20-point night Friday against Seminole, scored 11. Super 6er Lindsey Crawford scored 10 points. Calhoun (6-10) was led by Keiyanna Harris, who scored 10 points.
Calhoun's boys basketball team scored a season-high 90 points and ran away from Lee County, 90-58, on Saturday night.
"We were just clicking on offense,'' Calhoun coach Marcus Shaw said. "We started out slow but we had a big second quarter, scoring 26 points, and a big third quarter, scoring 30 points.
"The difference lately is they are starting to believe in themselves, and we are playing with a lot more confidence.''
Calhoun (11-5) was led by Andre Carroll and Knyhiah Zachary, who scored 20 points each. Marquez Williams (17) and DeShawn Jordan (14) also scored in double figures.
Lee County was led by Sanford Seay, who scored 22 points.