CORDELE — It was almost midnight late Friday, and Westwood girls basketball coach Jenni Smith was just getting home from Cordele.
It had been hours since her Lady Wildcats had knocked off defending GISA Class A state champion Crisp Academy — but the defining victory still hadn’t sunk in for Smith.
“I’m still kind of stunned that we came out of there with a ‘W,’ ” Smith said.
Westwood, the defending GISA Class AA state champs, hadn’t beaten powerhouse Crisp in Smith’s seven years as head coach, but on Friday Westwood snapped that streak with a 42-39 victory against Crisp.
Mercer signee and Crisp star Madi Mitchell scored 33 of her team’s 39 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop a Westwood team that was playing without starter Morgan Singleton and had four sophomores in the starting lineup.
Westwood, which led wire-to-wire, got 16 points from Callie Smith, while Rachel Harrell added nine points, Perra Harrell scored seven points and Haley Marshall finished with six points.
“Even missing (Singleton) we managed to pull out the win,” Smith said of Singleton, a returning starter who is battling a knee injury. “It speaks volumes of our team effort. I feel like to go in there and get a win against such a quality team, this should give our kids a lot of motivation and hope that we will have a good season.”
Westwood took a 25-17 lead into halftime, but Mitchell and Crisp chipped away at it in the second half. And for large chunks of the fourth quarter, Westwood went into stall mode to try to shorten the game and limit Mitchell’s touches.
“We had to because Madi was starting to dominate on the offensive side,” Smith said.
Westwood plays again Tuesday at Georgia Christian, while Crisp Academy plays again Monday at Lakeside School in Eufaula, Ala.
SEMINOLE BOYS OFF TO FAST START: For the second year in a row, the Seminole boys are off to a hot start.
And for the second year in a row, an early-season matchup against Randolph-Clay will have huge implications in the Region 1-A title race.
The Indians beat Stewart County 58-41 on Friday and then routed Webster County 71-39 on Saturday, setting up an anticipated matchup Tuesday with Randolph-Clay.
Seminole (2-0) won its season opener Friday behind 19 points from Jamal Martin and 15 points from Jordan Harris. The visiting Indians held Stewart County, which entered the contest a perfect 4-0, to 16 first-half points and continued to stretch their lead in the second half.
On Saturday, Seminole jumped ahead in the first quarter and never looked back as Martin (18 points), Harris (15 points) and Jamarkus Gray (13 points) all scored in double figures.
TATTNALL SQUARE GIRLS 48, DWS 33: Jordan Lane and Nyla Perry both scored 12 points for the Lady Knights, who didn’t score in the first quarter and trailed 19-6 at halftime and couldn’t mount a second-half comeback.
Deerfield fell to 2-3 overall and will play again Tuesday at home against Mount de Sales.
SHERWOOD SPLITS: The Sherwood girls basketball team bounced back from its only loss of the season with a 50-36 victory against Mount de Sales on Saturday.
Key’yada Thomas scored 20 points to lead the Lady Eagles, who are now 5-1 overall, and Madison Walker chipped in 18 points.
The Sherwood boys lost, 60-47, for their first defeat of the season after starting the year a perfect 5-0. The Eagles, who beat Brookwood Friday night in overtime, were 24-for-51 from the free throw line on Saturday.
Juwan Henderson led Sherwood with 14 points, and T.J. Johnson added eight points.
Both Sherwood teams play again next Saturday at home against Calvary Christian.
THOMASVILLE BOYS 53, BAINBRIDGE 47: Star sophomore Tyree Crump scored 26 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Bearcats, who couldn’t capitalize on a 21-18 halftime lead and fell to 0-2.
Dominique Douglas added nine points for the Bearcats, who were outscored 20-6 in the third quarter and never got closer than five points in the fourth quarter. Bainbridge plays again Tuesday at Colquitt County.
WORTH COUTY BOYS 89, FITZGERALD 57: Anfernee McLemore continued his early-season dominance with 35 points, nine rebounds and six blocks in Saturday’s blowout victory.
The sophomore post had a triple-double Friday and came up big again Saturday for the Rams, who are now 5-1 overall and play again Tuesday at home against Albany High.
Also for Worth County, Brandon Moore scored 16 points and Jamon Moore added 11 points.
LEE COUNTY GIRLS 38, AMERICUS-SUMTER GIRLS 36: Desja Johnson scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Kayla Cooper scored 12 points and had five rebounds to lead the Lady Trojans to a two-point victory. Maggie O’Conner added three points, nine rebounds and four assist for Lee County, which is now 4-2 overall and plays again Friday at Seminole County.