ALBANY — Westover’s Lady Patriots, who have been a mainstay in the state playoffs, kept their season alive by beating Worth County, 53-32, in a play-in game in the Region 1-AAAA tournament on Monday at Dougherty to advance to today’s second round game against Americus-Sumter at Crisp County.
Today’s winner advances to the semifinals on Thursday and is guaranteed a berth in the state playoffs.
“We have to win (against Americus) to stay alive,’’ said Westover coach Lewis Smith, whose team lost twice in close games to Americus-Sumter during the regular season. “They beat us twice, but both games came down to the final shots at the end of the games.’’
Westover (16-9) was led on Monday by junior Alicia Samuels, who scored 11 points.
DOUGHERTY BOYS 51, CAIRO 45
The Dougherty Trojans hung on to beat Cairo late Monday in the Dougherty gym in a play-in game to advance to today's quarterfinals of the Region 1-AAAA tournament at Crisp County, where the Trojans will meet Albany High at 5:30 p.m. in a classic showdown.
The Trojans were led by Tevin Smith, who scored 13 points, and Mike Miller, who scored 11, to set up today's rubber match with Albany High.
The two rivals not only split their games in the regular season, but both games went into overtime. Albany won, 51-50, in the Civic Center, and Dougherty won, 58-55, in the Dougherty gym.
The winner of today's game advances to the semifinals on Thursday against top-seed Monroe at Monroe. The loser goes home for the season.
WORTH COUNTY BOYS 51, AMERICUS-SUMTER 49: Worth County kept its state playoff hopes alive Monday when Ken’darrius Collier hit a free throw with 4.5 seconds left to give Worth a 51-49 lead, and Americus-Sumter missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the nailbiter.
The Rams, who are now 13-13, advance to today’s second-round game in the Region 1-AAAA tournament and face No. 3 seed Crisp County at 8:30 p.m., at Crisp County. Collier led the Rams with 15 points. Crisp County is the defending region champion.
Today’s Crisp/Worth winner advances to the semifinals on Thursday against Westover, and a win would guarantee a berth in the state playoffs.
“We split with Crisp during the season,’’ Worth coach Arthur Davis said. “We know if we win it means we’re going to the state playoffs. That’s what I’ve been preaching to my kids.’’
CAIRO GIRLS 63, ALBANY HIGH 42: Cairo beat Albany High’s girls in a play-in game in the Region 1-AAAA tournament at Dougherty High on Monday, which ends Albany’s season and sends Cairo into today’s second round game at 7 p.m today against Crisp County at Crisp.
Albany High was led by Kairsha Jackson’s 24-point effort.
MILLER SWEEPS: The Miller County girls and boys teams both won games on Monday to keep their seasons alive.
The Miller girls beat Stewart, 73-48, to advance to the quarterfinals in the Region 1-A tournament on Monday night at home.
Mallory Diamond led the way with a 30-point night and Asia Goss dropped in 18 for the Lady Pirates, who face rival Mitchell County at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Randolph-Clay.
Mitchell, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, beat Miller (6-13) twice this season, but coach Nate George wants to take the momentum of Monday’s play-in victory into the game.
“They beat us twice, but we will be ready to play them,’’ George said. “I feel better playing them on a neutral court.’’
Miller County’s Pirates beat Baker County, 80-32, in a play-in game Monday at Miller to stay alive, led by Alvin Hooker’s team-high 17 points.
Rod Williams added 11 points.
The Pirates (6-15) will face their biggest rival, Seminole County, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mitchell County.