BAINBRIDGE — Lee County coach Tondra Davis promised her girls they could dance.
There was only one condition — they had to win.
“I told them that we would go and dance in the locker room,” she said. “But I told them if they wanted to dance, they had to win.”
On Saturday, the Lady Trojans won a back-and-forth thriller against host and rival Bainbridge, 46-41, and can dance all the way to Monday’s Region 1-AAAAA championship game, clinching their first state playoff game at home in four years.
Once the Lady Trojans got back to the locker room after the victory, even Davis joined in on the dancing.
“I danced,” she admitted with a laugh. “Just a little bit, but I did.”
Bainbridge and Lee County entered the fourth quarter tied, and the Lady Bearcats even took an early lead in the final period, but the Lady Trojans switched to man-to-man defense, took away Bainbridge’s perimeter shooting and clinched the program’s biggest win in years.
“It’s exciting,” Davis said. “I told the girls that they had nothing to lose and to just go out there and put their hearts on the floor. … We talked about where we were and how hard we had worked since the summer. I reminded them that they are going to reminisce about this and be able to look back and think about how hard they worked to get here.”
Katherine McConnell led Lee County with 13 points, while Maggie O’Connor added 11. Bainbridge’s leading scorer was Tameria Levens, who scored a game-high 19 points. The Lady Bearcats will play in Monday’s consolation game against Hardaway. Lee County’s opponent in the title game will be No. 1 seed Northside-Columbus.
NORTHSIDE-COLUMBUS BOYS 76, LEE COUNTY 58: The Trojans led by as many as nine points in the second quarter but ran out of gas in the second half of Saturday’s Region 1-AAAAA semifinal game.
Lee County, which will play in Monday’s consolation game and will be on the road in the opening round of the state playoffs, was led by Herald Super Aaron May’s 28 points. Jalin Wimberly added 10 points.
BAINBRIDGE BOYS 52, HARDAWAY 40: The Bearcats punched their ticket to Monday's Region 1-AAAAA title game thanks to Herald Super 6er Tyree Crump, who scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to help Bainbridge turn a two-point halftime lead into a 12-point victory.
The No. 1 seed Bearcats will take on No. 2 seed Northside-Columbus at 6:30 p.m. Monday for the region title.