Randolph-Clay’s Kanekia Washington, shown here in a game earlier this season against Monroe, hit a game winner Friday at Calhoun County to lift the Lady Red Devils to a 53-51 victory and keep them on top of the Fab 5 Poll.
Fab 5 Poll
1.) Monroe 16-2
2.) Westover 13-5
3.) Mitchell County 16-3
4.) Seminole County 13-3
5.) Bainbridge 11-4
1.) Randolph-Clay 17-2
2.) Monroe 15-5
3.) Pelham 15-3
4.) Dougherty 10-5
5.) Calhoun County 12-5
ALBANY — Whew, that was close for the Randolph-Clay girls team.
Calhoun County’s Lady Cougars came within 20 seconds of knocking off Herald No. 1 Randolph-Clay, which is the top-ranked Class A public school team in the state power ratings.
The Washington twins came to the rescue. Whenekia Washington made a steal with 20 seconds left, and her sister Kanekia hit a 10-footer with 8.3 seconds left to give R-C a 52-51 lead and an eventual 53-51 win on Friday. The Lady Devils went out the next night and cruised past Terrell County to win for the 17th time in their last 18 games.
They’re still on top of the Herald’s Fab 5 Poll with just six regular season games left to play.
Calhoun County didn’t get the win, but the Lady Cougars cracked the poll and make their debut at No. 5 this week with a 12-5 record and a lot of respect. Calhoun County was ranked ninth in last week’s state power rankings and are in the hunt to make the playoffs.
The Lady Cougars face a big test at Seminole County on Saturday.
The Lady Indians were ranked ninth in last week’s state power rankings.
Monroe’s boys are making it look easy and stay on top of the boys poll with easy wins against Cairo and Americus-Sumter last week.
The Nadas are 10-0 in the Region 1-AAAA race and need two wins to clinch the top seed in the region tournament next month. They have two tests this week, first against a much-improved Dougherty team at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Darton and then at home against Crisp County on Saturday. Monroe beat Crisp by one point earlier this year, and Crisp always gives Monroe a tough game. The Cougars upset Monroe for the region title last year.
Westover gave nationally-ranked Tift County its best game in the state of Georgia last week and was still in striking distance with one minute left to play before Tift won, 87-77, but the game made a statement for Westover, which stays at No. 2 in the Fab 5 Poll. The Patriots travel to Americus-Sumter today and play Albany High on Friday in what should be a close game.
Bainbridge lost to Lee County and falls from No. 3 to No. 5 in the poll, and Mitchell County, the top Class A public school boys team in the state, moves up to the No. 3 spot in the poll after beating Albany High on Saturday and knocking the Indians out of the poll. Dougherty also beat Albany High on Friday as the two teams played their second overtime game in the span of a week.
Seminole County’s boys are back in the poll at the No. 4 spot based on their body of work for the season. They have played well of late and took Mitchell to overtime two weeks ago before losing to the Eagles, who are 16-3 this year.
Lee County made a statement with its win against Bainbridge, but teams must have a winning record to be considered for the poll. More importantly for Lee is the fact that the Trojans look like contenders in the Region 1-AAAAA race and look like a lock to make the state playoffs for the first time since 2007.
The only change in the girls poll was the emergence of Calhoun County, which replaced Americus-Sumter, which lost to Dougherty on Tuesday and Monroe on Friday.