Mitchell girls down Irwin; R-C next
OCILLA — The Mitchell County girls got what they wanted — a rematch with the best Class A team in Georgia.
The No. 9 seed Lady Eagles grinded out a 60-46 victory at No. 8 seed Irwin County on Friday to advance to the Elite 8 of the Class A state tournament and set up a rematch with Region 1-A rival and No. 1 seed Randolph-Clay on Tuesday.
Friday’s gritty win against an Irwin County team that hadn’t lost at home all season gave Mitchell’s girls all the confidence they needed to pull of the upset next week.
“We really hustled (Friday),” interim coach Wendy Whitlock said. “We played defense and rebounded the ball, and hopefully we can take that into our next game. (Breeka Holton) was a monster on the boards. If both her and (A’Mircale Jones) play well we should win (Tuesday). We just need both of them to play well at the same time.”
Holton carried the Lady Eagles on Friday, finishing with 19 points and 15 rebounds, picking up the slack from Jones, a Herald Super 6er who was in foul trouble all night and finished with just four points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Deundra Hill added 13 points and seven points for Mitchell, which jumped out early and took a 30-17 lead into halftime before rolling in the second half.
Mitchell (20-9) was swept by Randolph-Clay in the season — 73-47 in Saturday’s region championship and 66-45 in the second game of the regular season.
MARION — Seminole County coach Wes Williams didn't want to call Friday's 60-50 win against No. 3 seed Marion County an upset.
Not after the caliber of teams his No. 14 seed Lady Indians saw throughout the season.
"I knew that with the competition we played in the regular season, we would have a chance," Williams said.
Seminole County (17-7), which competed all season with teams from the formidable Region 1-A, didn't look like your ordinary No. 14 seed in the opening round of the Class A tournament, where they jumped out to an 8-0 lead against Marion County and then held on for the 10-point win.
Alexus Watson led the Lady Indians with 19 points, while Katrese Brown and Patrice Barnes scored 17 and 10, respectively.
"I have five seniors who have been here before," Williams said. "We play with Randolph-Clay, Mitchell and Calhoun, and our losses were to Randolph, Mitchell, Early County and Pelham. You talk about four teams who are really good. That's the type of competition we were playing all year."
Marion County ran a full-court, man-to-man press all night, but Williams said his senior guards handled the pressure with ease.
"Marion County comes after you, but my girls played really well," Williams said. "We literally had a fast break almost every possession. We would go over top their press and break away from it."
The Lady Indians have now broken into the Elite 8 for the second time in three years and are on the road again Tuesday against No. 6 seed Gordon Lee, which was No. 2 in the state behind Randolph-Clay before losing in its region tournament last week.
GHSA CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT — TURNER COUNTY BOYS 77, TERRELL COUNTY 51: The Greenwave saw their season end Friday night at the hands of Class A power Turner County.
Joseph Ward led Terrell — which was the only team in Southwest Georgia besides Westover to beat Herald No. 1 Monroe this season — as the Greenwave’s season ends at 12-13.
GISA CLASS AAA STATE TOURNAMENT — WESTFIELD 45, DEERFIELD 32: Deerfield had lost to Westfield twice by more 20 points this year, but apparently did not get the message that they were supposed to come to Macon and just roll over Friday.
Deerfield hung tough, trailing only 28-21 after a Nyla Perry basket late in the third quarter, but Valarie McLure, who finished with 16 points, answered with a three-point play, to give the Lady Hornets a 10-point they would never give back.
DWS coach Jeff Eubanks he said he was proud of his girls’ season.
“Everybody was telling me when I took this job that it would be a rebuilding year and when we went into (preseason) camp it looked like they would be right,” the first-year Lady Knights coach said. “But we won a region championship when nobody expected us to and then made it into the second round of state. It was a great year for us.”
Deerfield was led by Casey Kincheloe with nine points. The Lady Knights ended their season at 14-14.
TOWNS COUNTY 83, CALHOUN COUNTY 73: The No. 15 seed Lady Cougars finished with the season 19-9 overall after falling to No. 2 seed Towns County in Friday’s Class A state tournament opener.
Final stats weren’t available by press time, but Calhoun County will lose four seniors — Kayla Buie, Keanna Williams, Kelsey Anderson and Quantice Hill.
TAE, Crisp girls back in Final 4
MACON — The Terrell Academy Lady Eagles advanced to their ninth straight Final Four with Friday’s win against Trinity Christian, 58-41, setting up a GISA Class AA semifinal game against Arlington Christian on Thursday.
Maura Milliron (25 points), Lauren Barfield (14) and Marilauren Farr (11) led Terrell Academy, which was 13-for-27 from the field in the first half and hit nine 3-pointers in the game.
“We shot the ball extremely well,” TAE coach Kieth Jones said. “But now (Thursday) is going to be a really big challenge.”
Arlington Christian is a three-time defending state champion in Class AAA before dropping down to Class AA this season, and Jones knows his girls will have their work cut out for them.
“We have some really difficult matchup problems with them,” Jones said. “We aren’t big, and they are huge. They have a 6-foot girl inside and a 6-3 girl who comes off the bench. They have two or three gaurds who are bigger than my power forward.”
CRISP ACADEMY GIRLS 65, ROBERT TOOMBS 23: Two-time GISA Class A defending state champion Crisp Academy punched its ticket back to the Final four Friday night at ABAC with a lopsided win and faces Curtis Baptist on Thursday at 1 p.m. at Mercer in the GISA Class A Final Four.
Herald Super 6er Madi Mitchell led the way with a 31-point night, which eclipsed 2,500 points for her career. She’s a junior. Kara White scored 17 for Crisp, which won its 21st game in a row and is now 29-2 for the season.
Westwood girls reach third straight Final 4
MACON — Westwood has been to the last two GISA Class A title games — losing both times.
Now, they’ll one win away from a crack at the AA title.
The Lady Wildcats, who moved up classes this offseason, continued their march through the GISA AA state tournament Friday with an utter demolition of Flint River, 67-29.
Perra Harrell — The Herald’s Player of the Year for cross country — showed her skills on the basketball court Friday. The freshman led the way with 19 points, followed by Callie Smith’s 18 and 13 from Morgan Singleton.
The Lady Wildcats won their 17th in the row and now will play the defending state champ, Gatewood, on Thursday at Mercer.
Westwood coach Jenni Smith said it’s hard to compare this year’s run with any of the previous two.
“We lost five seniors, so it’s totally different,” she said. “Plus, we’re winning games (a lot easier) than we were last year. It’s the same brand of basketball, but it’s a different group of kids. We haven’t even talked about (the disappointment of the last two years) with this group.”
Westwood, which led just 28-18 at halftime, held Flint River to just 11 total second-half points, moving to 21-3 with the win.
Dougherty girls fall to Mary Persons, 56-46
FORSYTH -- Dougherty's Lady Trojans fought back all night against Mary Persons before falling, 56-46, in the Sweet 16 round of the Class AAAA state playoffs on Friday night.
"It was like we were lethargic and just didn't have the energy that I hoped we would have started off the game with," said Dougherty coach Charlene Jackson, who watched her team fall behind 19-2 in the opening minutes of the game.
After that first nightmarish seven minutes that saw the Lady Trojans score just two points, Dougherty outscored Mary Persons (24-2). Dougherty trailed 21-5 after the first quarter and then mounted a comeback but it wasn't enough as the Lady Trojans saw their season come to an end on the road.
"They didn't give up. When it looked like the game was going to be a blowout, they found a way to cut back into the lead," Jackson said.
The Lady Trojans (16-8) stepped up defensively in the second half, clogging passing lanes and pressuring Mary Persons into turnover after turnover via steals and errant passes. The result was what began as a one-sided game turning into close and physical second half.
Mary Persons led 31-19 at halftime but Dougherty eventually cut into the advantage in the third quarter. Dougherty ripped off a 7-0 run that was started by an Amber Ward basket and finished up by a Takiya Davis three-pointer. Of course, Ra'Keta Shelton was in the middle of the run with big offensive rebounds and a putback that that cut lead to 34-29.
Shelton, who emerged as one of the top players in Southwest Georgia this season, once again led Dougherty with 20 points. She's only a junior and will be back for another run next season.
Dougherty can only wonder if the results would have been different had the first half started in a different way on Friday.
"One of the things we said to them (after the game) was that if we had played the entire first half as hard as they played in the second half, it would have been a different ballgame," Jackson said. "It wouldn't have been where we had to foul and stop the clock and put them a the free-throw line."