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THURSDAY'S PREP HOOPS ROUNDUP: Herald No. 1 Monroe girls lose first game

Monroe girls head coach Cheryl Cheeks thought the defense let The Herald No. 1 Lady Tornadoes down Thursday night, marking the team's first loss of the season.

Monroe girls head coach Cheryl Cheeks thought the defense let The Herald No. 1 Lady Tornadoes down Thursday night, marking the team's first loss of the season.

CARROLLTON — The Herald No. 1 ranked girls team fell Thursday when the Monroe Lady Tornadoes ran into a team they couldn’t handle.

Monroe, which was 8-0 and has been ranked No. 1 in The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll for the entire season, lost to Class AAA Chapel Hill, 59-43, in the opening round of the Carrollton Christmas Tournament. Chapel Hill is 7-1.

“They were just more physical than we were,” Monroe coach Cheryl Cheeks said. “We didn’t come ready to play. It’s hard to pin point just one thing.”

Herald Super 6er Key Key Price led Monroe with 14 points, and Davone Anduze followed with 11.

The Lady Tornadoes’ trademark defense, which dominated opposing teams for the first month of the season, was nowhere to be found Thursday night.

“It wasn’t there at all,” Cheeks said about Monroe’s stifling defense. “I don’t think they were ready to play (Thursday).”

The Lady Tornadoes, who play again at 4 p.m. today in the tournament, cut Chapel Hill’s lead to single digits in the third quarter but let it get away in the final eight minutes.

SEMINOLE BOYS 75, EARLY COUNTY 59: The red-hot Seminole boys basketball team started strong and never looked back Thursday against the Bobcats.

The Indians (7-1) snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bobcats thanks to Jamal Martin’s game-high 25 points. Shavon Wiggins also chipped in 18 points for Seminole, which led, 36-25, at halftime and continued to extend its lead in the second half.

Jacori Taylor, Early County’s star quarterback on the football field, led the Bobcats with 24 points.

Seminole plays again Friday in the Florida-Georgia Shootout against Sneads, Fla., while Early County next travels to Fitzgerald on Jan. 4.

RANDOLPH-CLAY BOYS, GIRLS SPLIT IN CARROLLTON CHRISTMAS TOURNAMENT: The Randolph-Clay boys and girls basketball teams split a pair of games Thursday in the opening round of the Carrollton Christmas Tournament as The Herald No. 3-ranked Lady Red Devils rolled to a 61-47 victory against Riverdale, while the No. 3 boys lost, 72-63, to Riverdale.

The win improved Randolph’s girls record to 8-1, while the boys dropped to 5-3.

Kanekia Washington led the Lady Red Devils with 20 points, followed by 12 each from Adrianna Blackmon and Waenekia Washington. They will next play host Carrollton today at 7 p.m.

The Red Devils were led by Herald Super 6er Gary McCrae’s 27 points, while Cornelius Bennett added 16 and Ryan Wiggins chipped in 10.

Randolph will play Creekside today at 8:30 p.m.

PELHAM GIRLS 70, CAIRO 32: The Herald No. 4 Pelham girls stayed undefeated Thursday with an easy, 38-point win against Cairo.

Herald Super 6er Briunna Freeman led the Lady Hornets with 20 points, followed by Timbreana Hudson (14), Kayla Smith (14) and Hillary Williams (10).

Pelham plays again Thursday in the Colquitt County Regional Tournament against Herald No. 1 Monroe at 5:30 p.m.