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Randolph-Clay girls advance to Final Four

Brandi Buie

Brandi Buie

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Kobi Thornton

CUTHBERT — Two to go.

That’s how they feel at Randolph-Clay after Wednesday’s 62-48 win against Towns County, which lifted the Lady Red Devils to their second straight trip to the Class A Final Four.

Sure, Wednesday’s win was nice and it sent Randolph-Clay to its sixth Final Four in 11 years, but head coach Jennifer Acree and her girls are after something bigger after falling just short in last year’s state title game.

“I am itching to get back to the state title game, and I’m itching to win it,” said Acree, who plays Claxton County on Saturday in Savannah in the state semifinals. “We knew (Wednesday) was just a piece to that puzzle. Our goal is to put the entire puzzle together with a state championship. We have two more games to go.”

Randolph-Clay star guard Brandi Buie, who scored 27 points in Monday’s Sweet 16 victory against Central Talbotton, stole the show again Wednesday with a game-high 30 points. Post player Kobi Thornton, who is a Herald Super 6 selection, added 22 points. It’s a 1-2 combination that the Lady Red Devils have ridden all year — and one that they plan on riding for two more games.

“You have a hard time defending speed and height,” Acree said. “Those two players really dominated for us. … They have been the scorers all year for us, but we have to make sure those other pieces are doing what they need to do, and (Wednesday) they did.”

No. 1 seed Randolph-Clay jumped out to a 19-6 lead and led by 15 at halftime, but No. 9 Towns County made things interesting in the third quarter with a trio of 3-pointers to cut the Lady Red Devils’ lead to nine.

“We knew they could shoot the ball,” Acree said. “We gathered ourselves and were able to maintain. They are a very good shooting team, so I knew there would be a point where they would hit a few shots.”

Randolph-Clay kept its composure despite Towns’ late push and will take a 25-4 record into Saturday’s 3 p.m. game.