GISA CLASS A GIRLS FINAL FOUR: Mitchell, Little Mitchell lead Crisp Academy to title game in first year

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

MILLEDGEVILLE -- There's just something about those Mitchell girls.

And that something is it's pretty darn tough to stop 'em.

Coach Gina Mitchell led Sherwood to its only Final Four in school history in 2007 with the help of her daughter, Courtney, who is now a standout for Valdosta State.

Fast forward four years later, and Gina popped back onto the coaching scene at Crisp Academy. And wouldn't you know it? With the help of another daughter, freshman Maddie Mitchell, the Lady Wildcats not only reached the Final Four in their first year -- Gina's as the coach, and Maddie's on varsity -- they'll be playing for a state title come Saturday in Milledgeville.

This, after the Lady Wildcats -- like they have done to opponents all season -- dismantled No. 1 seed Oak Mountain, 68-31, in the Class A semifinals Thursday.

The leading scorer? You guessed it, Maddie Mitchell with 26 points. And that was far from the best game of the season from Maddie, who stands 6-feet and dropped 42 earlier this year.

"It's been an awful long time since Crisp Academy has won a state title," Gina said after Thursday's win.

Thirty-four years to be exact.

"And what's so good about it," Gina continued, "is that it's two teams (playing for the state title) from the same region, and both of us (are from Southwest Georgia)."

That's right, the Lady Wildcats (20-7) will take on Camilla's finest in Westwood on Saturday at noon at Georgia College & State, where the Lady Wildcats assured a fourth meeting this season by slipping by No. 1 seed David Emanuel in the other semifinal. Yes, fourth.

Crisp Academy has already won the first three -- Maddie averaged 25 points a game in that trio of wins -- including the region title game a week ago, by an average of 19 points.

"They didn't seem that close to me. I really thought Westwood had a chance to be here. They've got some great athletes," she said. "It's tough to beat a team four times -- I don't care what the first three scores were."

Gina was an onlooker last year as she helped out with the JV team as Crisp reached the Final Four, only to get beat by rival Fullington. But after taking over, now she's got the Lady Wildcats one win away from sealing the deal.

"They're playing pretty good right now and so are we," Gina said. "I had a feeling we'd see them again."