Darton sophomore Michelle Mitchell led the Lady Cavs to a win over nationally-ranked No. 9 Georgia Highlands on Saturday.
Bainbridge boys win 7th straight
COLUMBUS — A trio of Bearcats scored 14 points to lead Herald No. 3 Bainbridge to its seventh straight win since a Dec. 15 loss to Godby, Fla.
Stephen Johnson, Tyree Crump and Dontavious Marshall all scored 14 points for Bainbridge, which defeated Northside Columbus, 68-59.
The Bearcats (9-3, 2-0 in Region 1-AAAAA) also got 11 points from Justin Baker.
PELHAM GIRLS 61, FITZGERALD 31: Herald Super 6er Briunna Freeman scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Herald No. 3 Pelham girls to a 30-point victory.
Timbreana Hudson added 10 points for Pelham (12-3, 3-1 in Region 1-AA), which is in action again Tuesday at home against Early County.
R-C SWEEPS EARLY: The Herald No. 1 Lady Red Devils held off Early County for a 74-68 win Saturday, while the Randolph-Clay boys beat Early, 85-60.
Kanekia Washington (18 points), Whenika Washington (16), Adriana Blackmon (15) and Kobi Thornton (11) led the R-C girls, while Gary McCrae (24), Ryan Wiggins (14), Corneilius Bennett (12) and Kwemente Parker (11) paced the Red Devils.
SEMINOLE BOYS 65, STEWART 61: The visiting Indians held off a tough Stewart County team Saturday to improve to 11-3 overall.
Seminole outscored Stewart 20-5 in the second quarter to take a 30-16 lead into halftime, only to see Stewart storm back in the second half and pull to within two points.
The Indians held off Stewart’s comeback however, behind Jahmyka Pearson (14 points), Jakhari Martin 13) and Jamal Martin (10).
Seminole County, which is ranked No. 5 in the Herald Fab 5 Poll, plays again Tuesday at Terrell County.
ROME — Hugs and smiles came flooding from Darton’s bench straight to the court Saturday afternoon.
And right there in the middle of the celebration was Michelle Mitchell, who made it all happen.
Darton’s star sophomore and the reigning Region XVII player of the year scored 23 of her game-high 28 points in the second half of Saturday’s region showdown against Georgia Highlands to lead the Lady Cavs to a come-from-behind, 69-64 victory.
With first place in the region on the line, Mitchell and the nationally-ranked No. 18 Lady Cavs trailed by 14 points midway through the second half, but then the guard from Eastman took over.
“That’s what good players do,” Darton coach Lea Henry said. “She realized that we needed her to start making plays. We encouraged her at halftime to want the ball more and start attacking off the dribble more. She did exactly that.”
Georgia Highlands coach Brandan Harrell watched Mitchell pick up a frustrated Darton team and carry the Lady Cavs to their 15th win in their last 16 games.
“The air went out of our tires, and Mitchell hit the nitro boost,” said Harrell, who defeated Mitchell and the Lady Cavs twice last season as coach of South Georgia Tech in Americus. “She willed them to the win. Everybody else around her did their role fantastically, but she is by far the best player we have played this season.”
Darton (17-2, 9-1) took over first place in the region, while No. 9 Georgia Highlands (15-2, 7-1) slipped into second place.
Jasmine Wilson added 12 points, Kadayasha Jones scored eight and Chanteniece Fann came back from a knee injury to add six points and three rebounds for the Lady Cavs, who have now won seven straight.
“It was a tough game. We had to really play hard to come back and win,” Henry said. “We had three days to prepare, and our kids were really focused. This puts us in first place, so this game was an opportunity to do some good things for our program.”
Georgia Highlands jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but Darton responded with its own run to take a 15-12 lead midway through the first half. The Lady Cavs took a one-point lead into halftime, but Georgia Highlands came out strong in the second half and ran its lead to as many as 14 points with 10 minutes left in the game.
“We called a timeout and regrouped,” Henry said. “At that point, our kids were pretty frustrated. We basically just told them that we had plenty of time and that we needed to be more aggressive.”
Darton ended the game on a 30-12 run and outscored Georgia Highlands 6-0 in the final minute to usher in the post-game celebration.
“They were excited. They understood the significance of this one,” Henry said about her players. “They were hugging and smiling and jumping up and down. With two or three seconds left, they were even hugging each other on the court. It was nice to see that. It was nice to see them feel good about this.”
Four players scored in double figures for Georgia Highlands: Gabrielle Kendall (14 points), Shan’Taja Latimore (13), Manon Cherubini (12) and Shakierya McClendon (10).
Darton, which plays again Wednesday at home against Atlanta Metro State College, will host Georgia Highlands Feb. 23.
ALBANY STATE WOMEN 71, MILES 64: You can’t hold April Thomas down for long.
Two days after the former Bainbridge star and Albany State guard was held to a season-low four points in a loss to Stillman, Thomas lit up the scoreboard Saturday to lead the Lady Rams to a conference win at Miles College.
Thomas scored 25 points, and Kourtney Alexander added 16 points for ASU, which improved to 4-7 overall and 2-2 in the conference. Mitchell County grad Kedeemya Cooper pulled down 12 rebounds in the victory, which snapped a two-game conference losing streak.
The Lady Rams play again Monday at LeMoyne-Owen, which is winless in the conference and on a 10-game losing streak.
MILES MEN 75, ALBANY STATE 69: Despite 18 points and eight rebounds from former Worth County star Jerome Hamilton, Albany State couldn’t pick up its first conference win of the season.
In a close game for the entire night, Miles held on for the win and its first conference victory of the season.
Albany State fell to 1-9 overall and 0-4 in the conference.
Jaren Harris (16 points) and Albany native Andrew Covin (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Rams, who play again Monday at LeMoyne-Owen.
Albany Tech men beat Georgia Perimeter
ALBANY — Nouhoum Boucoum scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Albany Tech men to their second straight victory Saturday.
Playing their most complete game of the season, the Titans beat Georgia Perimeter, 58-47, to improve to 6-13 overall and 2-7 in Region XVII.
Teven Oliver and Escondarious Yarbrough each added nine points for the Titans, who have won four of six games. Saturday’s win came against a Georgia Perimeter team that is fourth in the region standings.
The Titans play again Saturday at home against Waycross.