Back from his brief hiatus, Herald Super 6er T.J. Cromer led the Patriots in a rout of Crisp County on Thursday night in the Region 1-AAAA semifinals.
ALBANY — A three-point game at half turned into an offensive clinic in the third quarter for the Westover Patriots, who put Crisp County’s upset bid to bed with a 15-0 run to open the third — and never looking back.
Westover (19-5) outscored the Cougars 27-3 in the period and lead 62-35 going into the fourth before winning, 95-68, thanks in large part to the return of senior Super 6 guard T.J. Cromer.
Cromer, who had missed the previous two games for undisclosed reasons, scored a career-high 33 points, including 10 in the Pats’ breakout third quarter.
It was good to be back.
“I was hungry,” Cromer said. “The team means more to me than I mean to the team.”
Westover will face bitter rival Monroe in tonight’s title game after The Herald No. 1 Tornadoes held on to beat Albany late Thursday, 65-58, in the other half of the semifinal bracket.
Cromer, a Herald Super 6er, opened the game with an alley-oop from near half court to fellow Super 6er Kel Miller, who reverse slammed it. Crisp (10-16) was game, though, and got 12 points from Taylor Walls in the first half to stay close before things fell apart in the second half. Walls finished with 17 to lead the Cougars, while Javoris Cooks added 16 in the loss.
“We played better on the defensive end (in the second),” Cromer said. “We were scoring in the first, but we weren’t stopping.”
Westover also got 15 points from Carvinsky Garrett and advanced to the Region 1-AAAA title game today at Monroe High. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Crisp, meanwhile, will now play for state seeding in the third-place game at 5:30 p.m. today against the Albany-Monroe loser to determine the third and fourth seeds from the region.
Dougherty girls 45, Cairo girls 38: The Lady Trojans kept Cairo at bay in the opener of the Region 1-AAAA tournament and advanced to the title game with a 45-38 win. Ra’Keta Shelton led the way with 18 points, while Quannesha Gatling added 13 and Amber Ward chipped in 10.
Cairo (9-19) was led by DaNeesha Edward’s 12 points. The Syrupmaids will face Americus-Sumter today in the consolation, while Dougherty will play Monroe for the region championship.
Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The two teams split the regular-seasons series in a pair of hotly contested games.