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Lewis-Polite wins DCSS Teacher of the Year April 17, 2014

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LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Lady Rams get No. 7 seed heading into conference tourney, while Rams fall at the buzzer in regular-season finales; Darton, SGT Final 4 hoops games to be on radio

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It’s been an up-and-down season for the Albany State women’s basketball team, but the Lady Rams will be on one of their upswings heading into next week’s conference tournament.

Bainbridge native April Thomas scored 27 points and had six steals to lead the Lady Rams to a 67-58 win Thursday against Stillman in the regular-season finale Thursday. The victory secured the No. 7 seed in the tournament and a first-round matchup 6 p.m. on Tuesday in Atlanta against the No. 10 seed, which will be either Claflin on Paine, which play each other Saturday night in Augusta.

ASU (10-16, 10-12) led Thursday’s game by 16 points in the first half, before Stillman stormed back and took a second-half lead. The Lady Rams, however, retook the lead with five minutes left and never looked back.

Symone Wilkerson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Breanna Fields had 10 points.

STILLMAN MEN 72, ASU 71: The ASU men’s basketball team was a last-second shot away from carrying a three-game winning streak into the conference tournament.

Instead, Rachard Lofton missed a buzzer beater in Thursday’s loss at Stillman, meaning the Rams won’t be seeded better than eighth when the conference tournament starts Tuesday in Atlanta.

ASU coach Chris Cameron said the team won’t know exactly where it is seeded until the rest of the conference’s regular-season games are played out, but Thursday’s loss was a shot to the team’s momentum.

“We put a lot of emphasis on this game so we could finish the year on a positive note,” Cameron said. “To not be able to do that is frustrating. We have been playing well the last four games, which we are 2-2. We’ve been playing well enough to beat anybody in the league.”

Jaren Harris led the Rams (12-14, 11-13) with 20 points, while Marcus Benitez added 15 and Lofton scored 10. ASU was up by four points with 35 seconds left, but Stillman forced an ASU turnover and grabbed a key offensive rebound in the closing seconds to steal the victory.

Region XVII Final Four

SAVANNAH — Fans of the Darton College and South Georgia Tech women’s basketball teams won’t need to travel all the way to Armstrong Atlantic College to follow the Region XVII semifinal action tonight.

South Georgia Tech’s 5 p.m. game against Middle Georgia will be broadcast on WISK 98.7 FM, and Darton’s 7 p.m. game against Georgia Perimeter will be broadcast on WDEC 94.7 FM.

If either Darton or SGT make it to Saturday’s championship game, the 1:30 p.m. contest will be carried on 98.7.

No. 1 seed SGT, which finished the season undefeated in region play for the first time in school history, swept No. 4 Middle Georgia in the regular season by scores of 63-49 and 62-49.

No. 2 Darton, which tied with No. 3 Georgia Perimeter in the regular season but won a coin flip for the second seed, split a pair of games with Georgia Perimeter. The Lady Cavs won, 68-64, and lost, 57-45.