Americus-Sumter girls roll as Westover girls’ state tournament streak snapped
CORDELE — Lewis Smith told his girls before the game.
He let them know what was at stake.
But sometimes it doesn’t matter, because that’s the funny thing about streaks — more than likely, they’ll eventually be broken.
“They have to start sometime and they have to end at another,” Smith said after his Westover Lady Patriots basketball team lost in the Region 1-AAAA tournament quarterfinals Tuesday to Americus-Sumter, 60-38, snapping a streak of 15 straight seasons the program has reached the GHSA state tournament. “We feel bad, but we don’t feel guilty because we put in the work and did the best we could. We told them after the game that no one should be guilt-ridden (that this was the group that ended the streak). We’ll be able to sleep OK at night knowing we worked hard as hard as we could. All we can do from here is crank back up and work even harder this summer.”
Westover lost two Herald Super 6ers off last year’s team (reigning Herald Player of the Year DyTiesha Dunson and Ieshia Young), as well as a number of other key players. The result was a very un-Westover-like record of 16-10, including a 9-7 mark in a region the Lady Patriots had long dominated.
“It was a year of a lot of firsts, I guess,” said Smith. “(Monday night’s play-in game win against Worth County) was the first time since 1997 we even had to play that first day. It definitely leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.”
Achanti Layfield led Westover with 13 points, while Mykesa Smith added 12. Americus, which advanced to Thursday’s semifinals at Monroe with the win, was led by Kayla Bowens and Adasiah Mercer, both of whom scored 18 points. Americus will face the No. 1 seeded Monroe girls, who won the regular-season title, on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Monroe.
Westover loses three seniors, and Smith had a message for them after the game.
“We thanked them, told them to hold their heads high and then we prayed,” the longtime Lady Pats coach said. “And that was it. It is what it is. Now we’ve got to get back to work.”
CORDELE — The up-and-down season for the Albany boys basketball team continued Tuesday with an upswing as the Indians beat city rival Dougherty, 59-44, in the Region 1-AAAA tournament quarterfinals to end the Trojans’ season.
Albany, meanwhile, advanced to Thursday’s region semifinals against No. 1 seed Monroe at 8:30 p.m. The game will be played at Monroe, The Herald’s No. 1-ranked team which clinched home-court advantage two weeks ago by finishing its region slate unbeaten.
Tyler Cheese led Albany with 25 points, followed by 14 from Josh Anderson and 10 from Demarcis Nunnally. Dougherty’s Shaun Wheeler and Montavious Sisero each scored a team-high six points.
Dougherty ends the season 7-12 overall and 7-7 in region play.
One day after learning school was closing, Randolph Southern girls, boys basketball program play final game in region tourney loss
VALDOSTA — The Randolph Southern girls put up a emotional fight Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the GISA Region 3-A tournament, but the Lady Patriots fell short in a 48-44 loss to Fullington.
The loss not only ended the season for the Lady Pats, but it ended the run for the entire program after it was learned by Randolph Southern’s students late Monday night that the school — which opened in 1967 — was closing its doors at the end of the year.
Gabi Jackson and Parker Rigsby, two of the seniors on the team who will go down in RSS history as having played the final game ever held by the school, led the way with 18 and 10 points, respectively.
The Lady Patriots also got eight points from Alana McCook.
In the boys game, the Patriots lost to Grace Christian, 56-36, to end the season at 0-22 --- a very untypical year for a program known for hoops. Logan Eubanks led RSS with 11 points, while Phillip Bowen led Grace with 20.
Terrell boys hold off Stewart, while R-C boys nip Calhoun
CUTHBERT — The Terrell boys managed to sneak out of the first round of the Region 1-A tournament Tuesday with a 44-42 win against Stewart County in the play-in game.
By beating the Royal Knights, the Greenwave earned a trip to the state playoffs by virtue of finishing in the Top 4.
Tiavelle Stephens led the Greenwave with 14 points, while Joseph Ward was right behind him with 10. Terrell moved up to 12-11 on the season. Their opponent in the semifinals Friday is yet to be determined.
RANDOLPH-CLAY BOYS 62, CALHOUN 57: The Randolph-Clay Red Devils moved on to the region semifinals.
Herald Super 6er Gary McCrae led the way with 22 points, while Cornelius Bennett and Ryan Wiggins added 13 points each. Calhoun’s leading scorers and final record weren’t available at press time.
The Red Devils are currently 16-10 and will face the winner of the Seminole vs. Miller County game in the semifinals.
SGA boys, girls both advance in Region 3-AA tourney
DAMASCUS - Southwest Georgia Academy started out their postseason with a comfortable 45-32 win against Westwood Tuesday night in the GISA Region 3-AA tournament, led by Alex Chambless' 24 points. Chambless' cousin McKinley was right behind him with 14 points. In a losing effort, Westwood's Brodie Collins led the Wildcats with 11 points. The Warriors moved to 17-10 on the season and will next face Valwood in the semifinals at home Thursday.
SGA GIRLS 43, VALWOOD 22: Thanks to Jesse Oliver's 18 and Baylee Everson's 15 points, the Lady Warriors also made it to the second round of the GISA region playoffs.
SGA's girls moved to 6-20 on the season and will next face Westwood on Thursday in the semifinals.
Seminole boys rout rival Miller, reach region semis
DONALSONVILLE --- Kevin Godwin and his Seminole County boys punched their ticket to the region semifinals with a 72-57 win against Miller County on Tuesday.
The Indians spread the ball around with four players ending up in double figures, led by Jordan Harris (game-high 17 points), while Jamarkus Gray and Jahmyka Pearson added 11 each. Jamal Martin had 10 points. In a losing effort, the Pirates' Antrayvious Benton had 15 points, while Jacoby Jones and Jimmy Cooper added 12 of their own.
The win pushed the Indians' overall record to 19-5. They'll next face Randolph-Clay in Cuthbert on Friday.¶