Deerfield's Sabrina Curry, right, had nine points, five assists and eight steals in Friday's win against Southland. (Kelly Phillips/Special to The Herald)
CAMILLA — All week long, Pelham second-year girls basketball coach Antonia Tookes admitted she was a little worried about facing cross-county rival Mitchell County on its home floor, fearing the Lady Hornets’ 12-game winning streak could come crashing down.
Fear not, coach Tookes.
Crisp Academy girls go to Camilla, upend Westwood in state title game rematch
CAMILLA — Crisp’s Academy Madi Mitchell was winded — really winded — during Friday’s game against Westwood.
But she never showed it. After all, this was the state title rematch.
Not only did she play the entire game, but she was the star with 33 points, 14 rebounds and two steals as the Lady Wildcats beat Westwood on the road, 56-39, less than a year after edging out Westwood for the GISA Class A crown.
“I was very tired,” Mitchell admitted, “but I knew we had to play defense and we’d win the game.”
Kristen Greene scored nine points for Crisp Academy (14-3 overall, 5-0 in Region 3-A) and Jay Jay Yawn added six.
Whether the game was won on the defensive end or because of Mitchell’s offensive production is debatable. The Lady Wildcats did hold Westwood (13-2) to 10 points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. They also defended the glass with 25 team rebounds.
“The biggest issue is what is missing (from an offensive standpoint),” Westwood head coach Jenni Smith said. “We didn’t score, and you’re not going to beat a good team scoring 39 points in a ballgame.”
The first quarter was fairly even with Crisp Academy barely holding onto a two-point lead. That didn’t change much in the second as Westwood went into halftime down, 23-19.
“I was glad we were up but I knew that wasn’t going to be enough,” Crisp coach Gina Mitchell said.
Heeding their coach’s call to not let up, the Lady Wildcats opened the second half with an 11-6 run. Madi Mitchell, who seemed to do it all from bringing the ball up the court to dishing to open teammates all night, had her way in the paint.
“It’s easy because my teammates give me the ball,” said Madi, who stands 6-foot-1. “They do a good job of getting it in to me and it’s up to me to score.”
Much to the chagrin of Westwood, Mitchell made it to the charity stripe several times, going 11-of-16.
“I felt like the first half our defense was fine and we were right there in the ballgame,” Smith said. “In the second half we let Madi get away from us some, and some of those (points) were from all the trips to the foul line.”
Ivy Foister was Westwood’s leading scorer with 14 points, while Morgan Singleton dropped in six and her sister, Miller Singleton, contributed five points.
“We should have hit the boards harder and blocked out more,” Foister said. “Everyone seemed nervous maybe because they wanted to get revenge from the state game (last year). Mistakes happened in the second half and everyone seemed to shut down.”
The two teams are set to face each other one more time in the regular season at Crisp Academy.
CRISP ACADEMY BOYS 39, WESTWOOD 34: Despite several chances to tie or take the lead, the Westwood boys lost a heartbreaker Friday night.
Jake Smith and Nick Culpepper scored 10 points apiece for Crisp Academy, while Michael Spears added eight points.
Westwood’s Jamie Davis had a game-high 13 points, while Mitch Good scored nine points and Brody Collins had eight points.
Westwood is now 5-5 on the season and 4-1 in region action.
— Adam Alexanderfirstname.lastname@example.org
Pelham, which is ranked No. 3 in The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll and No. 9 in the Class A state poll, rolled to an easy 54-36 victory Friday for its 13th straight win since opening the season with a loss at Tift County. The Lady Hornets are now 13-1 overall and 9-0 in Region 1-A.
“Any time you play your rival, you’re going to be nervous,” Tookes said.
Pelham was led by freshman Briunna Freeman with a double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds), while Tembreanna Hudson chipped in 10 and Octavia Kierce had eight. Herald Super 6er Shay Reese, meanwhile, did not crack double figures for the second straight game.
Mitchell was led by A’Miracle Jones with 11 points as the Lady Eagles will now host Valdosta today, while Pelham hosts Lanier tonight.
MITCHELL COUNTY BOYS 45, PELHAM 38: The news was better for Eagles fans in the boys game as Mitchell held on for the win to improve to 10-5 overall and 3-0 in sub-region play. Pelham fell to 8-6 overall and 6-3 in Region 1-A.
“It was a good, good battle between two rivals,” Mitchell County boys coach Kenneth Harris said. “We were lucky to come out on top.”
Stacey Butler led Mitchell with 11 points, while Daron Hodges added 10. Pelham was led by Jaquan Green with 11 and Steve Mango had seven.
The Eagles host Valdosta tonight, while Pelham hosts Lanier this evening.
LEE COUNTY BOYS, GIRLS SWEEP SEMINOLE: The Lady Trojans improved to 6-6 overall Friday thanks to a double-double performance from Herald Super 6er Daquenna Moore (22 points, 19 boards) in a 51-42 win against Seminole County.
Maggie O’Conner chipped in 16 for Lee, while Katherine McConnell added nine. Seminole (5-6) was led by Katrese Brown with 16.
On the boys side, Lee County upended Seminole, 66-59, behind 18 points from Montell Bush, 15 from Josh Cabrera and 14 from Tavian Reed. Jakezmine King led Seminole with 16 points, followed by Robert Speights with 13.
The win was just the third of the season for Lee’s boys (3-9), who are still without a home gym as renovations continue.
“It should be ready by the end of the month,” said Lee County boys coach Tim McPherson, whose team hosted Friday’s game at the Lee County Middle School gym. “Until then, we’re just having to make do.”
Lee County’s boys and girls’ next game is tonight at Darton College against Americus-Sumter, while Seminole next faces Baker County at home Tuesday.
MILLER COUNTY GIRLS 48, CAIRO 34: The Lady Pirates were led once again by Mallory Diamond (22 points, seven rebounds), who continues to have a great season. Asia Goss added nine points and six rebounds and Antrennette Rosebrough added eight for Miller, which improved to 5-6 overall. Miller next plays at Early County today in a rematch of a game earlier this week in Colquitt that was won handily by the Lady Bobcats, 63-40.
TERRELL ACADEMY GIRLS WIN A PAIR: The Lady Eagles won games on back-to-back nights Thursday and Friday — both in routs — as the defending GISA Class A state champs crushed Randolph Southern on Thursday, 76-36, then turned around to hammer Citizen’s Christian on Friday, 55-23.
Friday’s win improves TAE’s record to 13-3 overall and kept the Lady Eagles a perfect 4-0 in region play. Marilauren Farr led Terrell both nights, scoring 16 in each of the wins, while Alex Barfield scored 13 on Thursday and 14 on Friday and sister Lauren Barfield added 13 in Thursday’s win, then chipped in 11 on Friday.
Amy Kimbrell and Parker Rigsby led Randolph with eight points each in Thursday’s loss.
Terrell returns to action Tuesday at home against SGA in another region contest.
DEERFIELD BOYS 77, SOUTHLAND 45: The Knights were glad to have the services of leading scorer Ramello Carter, who missed Tuesday’s rivalry game against Sherwood for undisclosed reasons.
Carter returned with a fury Friday, leading the way with 18 points as Deerfield improved to 12-3 overall and is now 4-0 in Region 3-AAA. Sam Shellhaas added 11 points for DWS, which also got 10 each from Weston King and Pete Langstaff.
Chan Waller led Southland with a game-high 23 points. The Raiders will next face Mount de Sales on the road today, while Deerfield travels to Westfield on Tuesday.
DEERFIELD GIRLS 62, SOUTHLAND 36: Courtney Kelson led with 11 points, Miranda Phillips added 10 points and six rebound and Sabrina Curry notched nine points, five assists and eight steals as the Lady Knights (14-3 overall, 4-0 in region) crushed their rivals Friday night to set up a showdown for first place in 3-AAA on Tuesday at Westfield.
Southland was led by Mary Melissa Roland with seven points.
EARLY COUNTY BOYS ESCAPE FROM BROOKS WITH WIN, GIRLS FALL: Ladonis Yarbrough led the way with 25 points, Darontay McCoy added 21 and Dequantay George chipped in 10 as The Herald No. 4 and No. 9 state-ranked Bobcats managed to pull off a narrow 74-68 win at Brooks County on Friday night to stay perfect in region play at 4-0. Early moved to 13-1 overall.
The Lady Bobcats, meanwhile, lost to Brooks, although no final score was available at press time.
Both Early County squads next host Miller County tonight.
CRISP COUNTY GIRLS 67, WORTH COUNTY 21: The Lady Cougars rebounded from a tough loss to Herald No. 1 Westover on Tuesday by ripping the Lady Rams on Friday night behind a game-high 25 points from Nasheema Oliver, while Kiedra Green added 17. Shanna Tucker led Worth with 10 points.
Crisp moved to 8-5 overall and 2-2 in region play, and next faces a big game tonight against Turner County.
CALHOUN COUNTY 92, RANDOLPH-CLAY 90, 2 OT: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
That’s what worked for the Calhoun County boys basketball team, which missed game-winning shots at the end of regulation and overtime before knocking off Randolph-Clay in double-overtime, 92-90.
It was a thrilling win that kept the Cougars at the top of the Region 1-A race. They improved to 10-5 overall and 3-0 in their subregion, while Randolph-Clay fell to 6-8 overall and 2-2 in region play.
Calhoun County fell behind, 90-82, in the second overtime but then scored the final 10 points of the game to take home the victory in the rivalry game.
Raishun Anderson, who scored 27 points, missed close-range game-winning shots at the end of regulation and overtime that would have given Calhoun County a victory. But with 48 seconds left in double overtime, Marquez Williams hit a game-tying 3-pointer, and then freshman Quenton Taylor hit a pair of free throws to send the Cougars home winners in a game where they fell behind 17-0.
Vincent Powell led Calhoun County with 33 points, while Herald Super 6er Shaquille Nunnally had a career-high 38 points for Randolph-Clay.
RANDOLPH-CLAY GIRLS 63, CALHOUN COUNTY 42: Kanekia Washington and Adrianna Blackmon each scored 21 points to lead Randolph-Clay past Calhoun County in a Region 1-A showdown.
Randolph-Clay jumped out to a 15-0 lead during the first four minutes and never surrendered its lead against the Herald No. 5 Lady Cougars, who were led by Brandi Buie’s 15 points and seven rebounds.
Randolph-Clay improved to 8-3 and 4-0 in the subregion, while Calhoun County fell to 10-5 and 6-2 in subregion play.