ALBANY — The Westover boys are back on top.
After having their streak of Region 1-AAAA cross country titles snapped last year by Worth County, the Patriots returned to the front of the pack Thursday with a team victory, joining the first-place Westover girls to sweep the region meet for the third time in four years.
Westover had swept the boys and girls meets in 2010 and 2011 before Worth County edged the Patriots in 2012, but it was Westover which triumphed this year with four runners finishing in the top six.
“We were able to get them back (Thursday),” Westover cross country coach Harley Calhoun said. “One thing we wanted to do this summer was win that region championship back, and we knew Worth was bringing four of their top five runners back from last year. We only had two of our top five coming back, so we had some work to do on getting new runners and getting talent out there. And we were able to that this summer. That paid off (Thursday).”
The top six runners and top four teams in each meet advanced to the GHSA state meet on Nov. 9.
Worth County’s Dale Pate was the individual champion on the boys’ side with a first-place time of 16:40 and was followed by Westover’s Jack Plowden (16:55), Westover’s Tyler Sheffel (16:57), Worth County’s Johnathan Cirullo (17:00), Westover’s Quenterrious Ousley (17:04.58) and Westover’s Robert Peacock (17:04.9).
The Westover boys finished with 27 points, followed by Worth County (41), Monroe (93), Albany High (125), Americus-Sumter (131), Cairo (152), Dougherty (178) and Crisp County (201).
Westover freshman Janie Plowden won the girls meet with a time of 20:28, beating the rest of the field by nearly a minute.
“That’s a big start for her for what will be a big career,” Calhoun said.
Plowden was followed by Westover’s Kaitlin Cainion (21:21), Worth County’s Kennedy Rutherford (21:37), Monroe’s Treasure Frazier (22:07), Westover’s Kateria Taylor (22:35.40) and Monroe’s Kiyah Johnson (22:35.68).
The Westover girls scored 25 points to win the team title for the ninth year in a row. Monroe finished second with 45 points, followed by Worth County (60), Cairo (117), Dougherty (133) and Americus (160).
Seminole softball falls in state tourney opener
COLUMBUS — The Seminole County softball team dropped its opening game of the GHSA Class A public school state championship tournament on Thursday, falling into the losers side of the bracket.
The Lady Indians lost to Telfair County, 6-3, and will play again today at 9 a.m. against Treulton — 8-0 losers to GMC — in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.
Jessi Helms started on the mound Thursday for the Lady Indians and gave up two earned runs and struck out two. Seminole smacked eight hits on offense and was led by Shymeshia Hopkins, who hit a two-run double in the top of the third to give the Lady Indians a 2-1 lead. Telfair, however, scored three in the bottom of the third to retake the lead and never look back.
Seminole County (21-8), the Region 1-A champion, advanced to the Elite 8 tournament last year but finished 1-2.
Bainbridge wins in OT at Dothan (Ala.)
DOTHAN, Ala. -- Bainbridge quarterback Preston Norris threw three TDs, including a game-tying score on fourth down with 2:25 left, and Bearcats kicker Daniel Provence booted a game-winner in overtime to lead Bainbridge to a thrilling 27-24 win against Dothan (Ala.) on Thursday night.
With several Bainbridge starters nursing injuries in the non-region game, the Bearcats fell behind early but still rallied to knock off a Dothan team that needed to a win to make the Alabama state playoffs.
Bainbridge’s only score in the first quarter was a 41-yard field goal from Provence, but with 12 seconds left in the first half Norris threw an 11-yard TD pass to Craig Cooper to pull the Bearcats to within 17-10 heading into the break.
Bainbridge knotted the score at 17-17 in the third quarter on another Norris passing TD, but Dothan opened the fourth quarter with a TD to take a 24-17 lead.
But then on Bainridge’s last drive of regulation, the Bearcats put together a 10-play, 57-yard drive – which was highlighted by an Aaron Calloway 32-yard run – and scored on a 4th-and-7 from the 11 on a Norris pass to Greg Cooper with 2:25 left to tie the game.
An interception by Bearcats DB Tavares Bowens in OT – which was his third pick in the last two games – ended Dothan’s drive in OT, and then Provence kicked a 27-yarder on Bainbridge’s first OT play to send the Bearcats to a 5-4 record heading into next Friday’s game against Region 1-AAAAA rival Lee County.