AUGUSTA — Pelham went into the house of undefeated, state
No. 2 Laney on Tuesday and didn’t come away with a win.
But they got something else.
“Respect,” Lady Hornets coach Antonia Tookes said. “We got respect. All kinds of people, including their coach, came up to me after the game and told us what a good team we had and how we’re going to go far (in the coming years). So we didn’t get the win, but we got respect.
“We wanted more, but at least we got that.”
This Lady Hornets’ season — Tookes’ third — is now over, ending at 26-5 overall and in the same spot as last year: the GHSA Class AA Elite 8, this time following a 59-40 loss Tuesday on the road.
Herald Super 6er Briunna Freeman led the way with 20 points — and turned a few heads in the process.
“Everyone wanted to know who No. 12 (Freeman) was after the game and where she came from,” Tookes said of her leading scorer, who is only a sophomore. “She was awesome all year for us. I’m glad I’ve got her for two more years.”
Timbreanna Hudson, Pelham’s tallest player at 6 feet, added 13 points in the loss and had to battle Laney’s bigs all night.
“They’re big and tall — that’s all I can say,” Tookes said when asked about just how good Tuesday’s opponent was. “They’re 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 — and our biggest player is 6 foot. I think we could’ve won still, but we missed a lot of free throws.”
Pelham missed 18 free throws and lost by 19 points, prompting Tookes to use the poor shooting from the foul line as a chance to motivate her girls for next year in her postgame speech.
“I just told them that no one thought we would get this far, and we did,” she said. “I told them to stay positive, work hard over the summer and stay together. I’m proud of them. The future is bright in Pelham.”
GORDON LEE GIRLS 72, SEMINOLE COUNTY 68: The Lady Indians (18-7) saw their amazing run and emotional season come to an end Tuesday night. Seminole, which dedicated this season to their fallen coach Jesse McLeod — who died of cancer after last year — pulled off a first-round upset last week but couldn’t keep the mojo going, despite two huge games Tuesday from Katrese Brown (24 points) and Patrice Barnes (23).
Seminole coach Wes Williams said it was a tough scene in the locker room after it was over.
“Not much you can say after what we went through. It was over,” said Williams, whose Lady Indians had dreams of winning state in honor of McLeod. “We’ll remember this year for the rest of our lives. Nothing to be ashamed of with losing. We were close. It’s just one of those things.”
Seminole led at the end of one, was tied at halftime and led again at the end of the third, but a long cold spell in the fourth saw the Lady Indians fall behind by 10 and never recover.