ALBANY -- There’s one undefeated team left in Region 1-AAAA -- and it’s not who most would have guessed just a few weeks ago.
Worth County, which finished sixth in the region last year, continued its surprising start Tuesday with a 54-49 victory at Dougherty High to improve to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the region.
It’s The Herald No. 4 Rams’ seventh straight victory since a season-opening loss to Houston County.
“We felt like we were going to be solid (coming into the season),” Worth County coach Arthur Davis said. “We felt like we could compete in the region. Probably the best thing that happened to us was that we lost our first game to Houston County. That made us work a little harder. We learned a lesson that first game.”
The rest of the teams around the region are quickly learning to take Worth County seriously this year. The Rams haven’t just been winning against region opponents, they’ve been doing so on the road in hostile environments.
Friday night at Radium Springs Middle School, Worth County fell behind 16-4 in the first quarter but then went on a 26-4 run to close the first half, and the Rams never looked back in the second half.
“I told them to settle down and to do what we do best and take our time,” Davis said when asked what he told his team when they got down 16-4. “We were rushing a little bit and out of control. Once we settled down and played better defense, that’s how we got back into the game.”
Ken’darrius Coller scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Rams, while Anfernee McLemore added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks. Brandon Moore chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Jamon Moore scored all nine of his points in the second quarter to fuel Worth County’s run.
PELHAM GIRLS OPEN WITH WIN: Pelham High School started its basketball season later than most area schools. Maybe that’s the reason The Herald No. 5 Lady Hornets enjoyed Friday night’s victory over Mitchell County so much.
And it was their arch-rival, too.
The Lady Hornets (1-0) applied the pressure early and often and continued to build on their lead throughout the game. The end result was a 77-56 victory.
“That’s our rivalry school, but it still was a tough game,” Pelham coach Antonia Tookes said. “We didn’t play as well as I’d like to have played defensively. We had a lot of ticky-tack fouls, kind of like reach-in fouls.”
Briunna Freeman led Pelham with 29 points, while Destiny Thomas added 20. Mitchell County was led by A’Miracle Jones’ 18 points.
Tookes said Mitchell County shot 44 free throws.
“There is nothing wrong with playing aggressive,” she said. “But we were too aggressive. Otherwise, I was very pleased with the win.”
PELHAM BOYS 79, MITCHELL COUNTY 65: The Pelham boys won their season opener behind Darius Spence’s team-high 15 points, while Duntrez Moore (13 points), Quayshaun Johnson (13 points) and Clarence Almond (9 points) also had big nights.
Mitchell County was led by Bruce Bryant (17 points) and Anfreenee Williams (13 points).
SEMINOLE BOYS ROUT LEE: The Herald No. 3 Seminole County Indians continued their red-hot start to the season and blew away Class AAAAA Lee County, 71-41.
Class A Seminole County, which also crushed Randolph-Clay on Tuesday, is now 4-0 with two straight dominating wins against quality teams.
Jordan Harris led Seminole County with 19 points, while Jamal Martin (15 points), Anfernee King (11 points) and Jahmyka Pearson (11 points) also got in double figures.
Lee County, which trailed by 18 points at halftime but then watched Seminole stretch it to a 28-point lead after the third quarter, was led by Aaron May’s eight points.
Seminole County plays again today at Pelham, while Lee County is at home against Herald No. 1 Westover.
ALBANY SPLITS WITH CAIRO: Tyler Cheese scored 16 points to lead the Albany boys basketball team to a 57-50 Region 1-AAAA victory Friday against Cairo.
The Indians, who improved to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the region, only hit three field goals in the fourth quarter but were solid from the free throw line to hold on for the victory.
Jordan Young and Malik Dungee added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Indians.
The Albany High girls team dropped to 0-7 overall and 0-5 in the region with a 59-32 loss. Alondra Calhoun led the Lady Indians with nine points, and Julyssa Brown chipped in eight points.
LEE COUNTY GIRLS 57, SEMINOLE COUNTY 40: The Lady Trojans ran away with Friday night’s game in the second half to win their fourth straight and improve to 6-2.
Katherine McConnell scored a game-high 19 points and also had five rebounds and six steals to lead Lee County, which led 25-20 at halftime but quickly stretched it to a double-digit advantage in the second half. Also for Lee County, Maggie O’Conner had 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists; and Desja Johnson added nine rebounds, three steals and two points.
Seminole County was led by Desja Martin’s 14 points.
The Lady Trojans play again today at home against Herald No. 3 Westover, while Seminole is on the road against Pelham today.
BERRIEN GIRLS 70, EARLY COUNTY 69: The Lady Bobcats fought back from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter and took the lead in the closing moments, but Berrien hit a lay-up with four seconds left to escape with the victory.
Tynicia McCoy led Early County with 22 points and four rebounds, and Latoya Eaford added 17 points and five rebounds for the Lady Bobcats, who are now 2-2 overall and 0-1 in Region 1-AA.
Early County plays again today at home against Herald No. 2 Randolph-Clay.
WESTWOOD GIRLS 51, PINEWOOD 32: The Lady Wildcats raced out to a 33-10 lead at halftime and then maintained the large advantage to cruise to their fifth straight victory to start the season.
Westwood will look to move to 6-0 today in Day 2 of the Robert Toombs tournament with a game against Trinity Christian.
Rachel Harrell led Westwood with 19 points, and Callie Smith added 15 points.
TAE GIRLS 47, TRINITY CHRISTIAN 37: In the opening round of the Robert Toombs tournament, the Lady Eagles pulled away from Trinity Christian in the second half to improve to 6-1.
Alana McCook and Tessa Jordan scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, to lead Terrell Academy, which outscored Trinity Christian 21-15 after halftime to ease to a victory. The Lady Eagles play again at 10:30 a.m. today in the second round of the tournament.
CRISP ACADEMY GIRLS 49, TATTNALL 44: In a matchup between the defending GISA champs from Class AAA and Class A, it was the Class A Lady Wildcats who came out on top.
Madi Mitchell paced Crisp with 27 points, while Maddie Krause and Parker Krause added seven and six points, respectively.
The Lady Wildcats (7-1) play again Thursday at Westwood in a rematch of Crisp’s only loss this season.