Girls State Tournament First Round Recaps

Class 6A: R5 #1 Woodstock 55, R8 #4 Grayson 34
(Contributed by Brandon Michea)

Unphased by a quick start from upset-minded Grayson, the Woodstock Lady Wolverines used a late first-half surge to carry a six-point edge into the break, then erupted with a 12-0 run in the opening minutes of the third quarter en route to a 55-34 victory over the Lady Rams in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state tournament on Tuesday, in Woodstock.

Seniors Kennedy Montgomery and Ashton Sutton paced the Lady Wolverines with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while junior Brittany Burnett netted 12 points, including eight in the third quarter alone.

After falling behind 7-2 early, Woodstock climbed out in front 16-14 by the end of the opening stanza, as Montgomery and senior Chandler Sutton combined for nine first-quarter points. Midway through the second frame, Grayson pulled even at 18, only to watch the Region 5 champion Lady Wolverines push back out in front, 26-20, by the half.

In the third, it was all Woodstock (25-3), with a three-point play by Burnett, an inside bucket by junior Kameryn Forrester and a Bralise Reese steal and give-and-go with fellow junior Taylor Reed highlighting the 12-0 spurt that led to Grayson head coach Tony Watkins burning his fifth and final timeout with 3:09 remaining – in the third quarter.

Held scoreless for nearly a 7-minute stretch, Grayson (21-8) finally got on the board with a pair of Destiny Newkirk free throws at the2:58 mark of the third, then converted its only field goal of the quarter, thanks to senior Essence Jordan, 1:30 later, cutting the deficit to 38-24. Montgomery, however, responded with a 3 and Ashton Sutton laid in a 2 in the closing seconds of frame to give WHS a commanding 43-24 advantage heading into the fourth.

The Lady Rams, who were led by 10 points from Jordan, could not narrow the gap any closer than 16 over the final 8 minutes, as Woodstock, making its fifth-straight state appearance, advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third time over that span.

Complementing the Lady Wolverines’ double-digit scoring trio, Reese chipped in six points and Chandler Sutton had five.

Newkirk and fellow senior Jessica Ewing finished with six points apiece for Grayson.

Next up for Woodstock, which is seeking its first state quarterfinals berth in program history, is a date with Region 1 runner-up Colquitt County this weekend. The Lady Packers (18-10) knocked off North Cobb, 45-41, in the opening round.


Courtesy of Sandy’s Spiel and Craig Sager II


R5 #2 Cherokee 53, R8 #3 Dacula 46: The Lady Warriors flexed their muscle against the bigger and more athletic Lady Falcons, scoring a seven-point win. Lacie McCoy led Cherokee with 15 points while Kaleigh Karl (12), Laiken Wade (11) and Havyn Wilson (9) all chipped in. Cherokee plays either Tift County or Hillgrove in round two.

R7 #3 Mountain View 46, R6 #2 Northview 41: The young Lady Titans fell behind by 17 points early but battled back to take a fourth quarter lead before falling to Mountain View. With only three seniors on the team, the future looks bright for Northview. Freshmen led the way once again for Coach Chris Yarbrough’s team as Maya Richards scored 18 points and Ashlee Austin added 12. Over the course of the year, Austin broke the school record for points scored for a freshman. Junior Shannon Titus is the third piece of the puzzle, setting school records for steals and blocks in a season before ending the season in the first round. Mountain View gets the winner of Tucker and Campbell, a Wednesday night affair.

R6 #1 West Forsyth 65, R7 #4 Mill Creek 51: Host West Forsyth jumped to a 42-24 halftime lead after outscoring Mill Creek 23-12 in the second quarter. Mill Creek answered with a 20-9 scoring advantage in the third quarter to make it 51-44, but a key three-pointer by Jane Ortlip stopped the scoring run and put West Forsyth up 56-47. This is Lady Wolverines’ the first playoff win in program history. University of Maryland signee Jenna Staiti dominated with a 35-point performance, while adding 12 rebounds and three blocks. West Forsyth teammate Brooke Pirkle added 10 points and dished out five of the team’s 19 assists.


R4 #1 Dutchtown 56, R1 #4 Harris County 43: Kamera Harris recorded 12 blocks through the first three quarters, including five in both the first and third quarters. Sophomore forward Jordan Maney netted 10 first half points to give Dutchtown a 35-23 lead. The Bulldogs were outscored 12-3 in the third quarter as Harris County cut the lead to 38-35, but they responded with a 18-8 advantage in the final frame.

R8 #1 Flowery Branch 58, R5 #4 Lithia Springs 50: First year head coach Courtney Newton received another balanced effort from her Lady Falcons. Taniyah Worth went for 19 points and eight rebounds while Julianne Sutton posted a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Maddie Hetzel chipped in eight points from her guard position while Kierra Knight added six points and six boards.

R8 #3 Gainesville 69, R5 #2 Hiram 66 OT: In a nip and tuck game, the Red Elephants managed to push Hiram to overtime before stealing the game in the extra period. Tied at 28 at halftime, in the fourth quarter the Lady Hornets began to make their move and push their lead to five six points, 51-45 with 3:10 remaining. Gainesville responded with a 14-8 run to tie the game at 59 to force overtime. Taylor Hawks (25) and Shikiya Brown (19) combined for 44 points to rally the Elephants.

R6 #1 Southwest DeKalb 65, R7 #4 Rome 22: A 16-0 run in the first quarter buried the Lady Wolves at Southwest DeKalb. The state’s No. 1 ranked team, the Lady Panthers, opened up a 29-5 lead heading into the second quarter following Daisa Alexander’s 15 points. Alexander finished with a game-high 21 points. Jada Walton netted 14 points in the rout. They now face R2 #2 Cross Creek in round two, the Lady Razorbacks coming off of a 86-54 blowout of South Effingham.

R2 #3 Warner Robins 53, R3 #2 Glynn Academy 32: Warner Robins took the three hour trek down to Brunswick, Georgia to take on Glynn Academy, both teams holding top ten rankings entering the showdown. In the end, it was the Demonettes getting the best of the Terrors. Shynia Jackson posted 14 points and six rebounds while Keiza Holmes harassed the Glynn Academy guards, picking up eight steals and three blocks to go along with her 14 points.

R8 #4 Winder-Barrow 53, R5 #1 Villa Rica 32: The Lady Wildcats’ home court advantage didn’t seem to matter much as the fourth-seeded Lady Bulldoggs from power Region 8 wiped away any ideas of a first round exit. 6-foot-4 sophomore Olivia Nelson-Ododa was too much inside finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Tiera Mayweather added nine points. Villa Rica star freshman Deasia Merrill entered the game averaging 25.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game from her forward position. The Lady Doggs held her to just 14 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-20 shooting. Winder-Barrow led 9-6 after the first quarter before pushing its lead to 23-11 at the half and 40-24 heading to the fourth quarter.

Class AAAA

R6 #1 Marist 41, R7 #4 Gilmer 34: Host Marist built a 24-19 lead at the half and held Gilmer to just five points in the third quarter to grow the lead to 32-24. Marist senior Dominque Oden dominated the game with 28 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

R4 #1 Mt. Zion-Jonsboro 67, R1 #4 Monroe 51: Tyeisha Juhan continued her offensive onslaught, this time taking the big stage of the state tournament to do her damage. The senior averaging over 25 points and nine points per game, exploded for 41 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals. The Lady Bulldogs face either defending state champion Buford or Whitewater in round two.

R7 #2 Northwest Whitfield 61, R6 #3 St. Pius 48: Bria Clemmons scored 16 of her team-high 18 points in the first half and the Lady Bruins sank six first half threes to take a 35-17 lead at the half before cruising into the second round. Whitley Brooker scored 13 points and Holly Heath added 10 to blow past the Golden Lions. Chandler Hiland chipped in nine points in the win.

R8 #1 North Oconee 64, R5 #4 Troup County 50: Camryn Williams led four Lady Titans in double digits with 19 points. North Oconee is fresh off a Region 8 championship over perennial power Buford, 54-51.

Class AAA

R7 #2 Dawson County 71, R6 #3 Calhoun 54: After falling in the Region 7 championship game to upstart West Hall, the Lady Tigers rebounded with an impressive win over the stingy Yellow Jackets. Haley Burgess poured in five three-pointers en route to 19 points to lead the Tigers. Karlie Bearden added 17 points and Kaylee Sticker stuck 15 points. Coach Steve Sweat’s team drilled 11-of-25 threes and sank all 10 free throw attempts. Jana Johns, the Region 6-AAA Player of the Year, scored 20 points and collected eight steals in the loss. Sydnie Parker finished with nine points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

R2 #2 Kendrick 81, R3 #3 Hephzibah 57: Four days after Peach County snapped Kendrick’s 21-game winning streak in the Region 2-AAA championship (78-73), the Cherokees engineered a team win as five players finished in double-figures. Brittany Thompson got the scoring started with nine first half points to build a 32-25 lead. The Cherokees used an 18-6 run in the final four minutes of the third quarter to grow a commanding 56-38 lead entering the fourth quarter.

R6 #1 Sonoraville 66, R7 #4 Banks County 46: Becca Cheeks powered the Phoenix with 20 points to advance to round two where they will face R2 #2 Kendrick. Evie Delp scored 19 points and Abby Connally netted 12 points on her birthday.

Class AA

R8 #1 Rabun County 81, R5 #4 Bremen 41: Senior guard Bailey Dillard hit a pair of early three-pointers to build a 15-5 lead for Region 8 champion Rabun County. The Wildcats took a 26-12 lead into the second quarter and ballooned a 45-25 halftime lead with a 65-34 edge heading into the fourth. Rabun County’s (24-3) current win streak sits at 22 games.

R6 #2 Wesleyan 86, R7 #3 Darlington 36: Mikayla Coombs, Amaya Register and Cairo Booker combined for 45 points, all scoring 15 apiece to lead the Lady Wolves on their search of state championship No. 12. Jameson Kavel notched 12 points in the win. Wesleyan meets R2 #1 Vidalia in the second round.

R6 #1 Holy Innocents’ 82, R7 #4 Dade County 36: Four players cracked double figures for Coach Tony Watkins’ Golden Bears. Shai Blanding and Erika Cassell both scored 16 points in the win. Kennedy Suttle added 15 and Kaila Hubbard chipped in 13.


Final Regular Season Girls Rankings


  1. Norcross 23-4
  2. Archer 24-4
  3. McEachern 20-7
  4. Collins Hill 22-3
  5. Tucker 23-4
  6. Douglas County 25-1
  7. Parkview 21-7
  8. Harrison 21-4
  9. Woodstock 24-3
  10. Westlake 23-5


  1. Southwest DeKalb 22-6
  2. Flowery Branch 27-1
  3. Brunswick 27-2
  4. Grovetown 27-1
  5. Warner Robins 22-2
  6. Glynn Academy 22-4
  7. Columbus 21-5
  8. South Effingham 23-4
  9. Mays 20-7
  10. Carver-Columbus 23-4

Class AAAA

  1. Marist 26-2
  2. Americus-Sumter 26-1
  3. Veterans 23-4
  4. Mt. Zion 24-4
  5. Buford 22-5
  6. Carrollton 22-5
  7. Jonesboro 20-4
  8. North Oconee 22-6
  9. Redan 20-5
  10. Griffin 22-6

Class AAA

  1. Morgan County 23-3
  2. Jackson-Atlanta 26-1
  3. Laney 23-4
  4. Peach County 23-2
  5. Kendrick 25-2
  6. Beach 24-4
  7. Johnson-Savannah 22-6
  8. Hart County 23-5
  9. East Hall 21-6
  10. Ringgold 22-4

Class AA

  1. Holy Innocents’ 22-5
  2. Wesleyan 23-4
  3. Model 25-0
  4. Pelham 23-1
  5. Putnam County 21-4
  6. Rabun County 23-3
  7. Vidalia 21-4
  8. Jeff Davis 24-3
  9. Haralson County 26-1
  10. Swainsboro 19-8

Class A-Private

  1. St. Francis 27-1
  2. Calvary Day 26-1
  3. Greenforest 24-0
  4. Stratford Academy 23-3
  5. Tattnall Square Academy 24-2
  6. Our Lady of Mercy 21-3
  7. Mt. Paran 20-5
  8. Lakeview Academy 22-6
  9. Savannah Country Day 20-7
  10. Athens Christian 18-8

Class A-Public

  1. Turner County 27-0
  2. Taylor County 25-2
  3. Terrell County 21-3
  4. Wilcox County 20-7
  5. Commerce 17-7
  6. Wheeler County 19-6
  7. Hancock Central 17-8
  8. Greenville 18-8
  9. Mitchell County 18-8
  10. Woodville-Tompkins 17-10

East Jackson & Jackson County finish 2-3 in Region 8AAA

Contributed by Colin Hubbard (@__Chubs__)

Region 8-AAA just might be the best top-to-bottom region in all of AAA this season and the top four teams were put on display at Emmanuel College on Friday and Saturday to determine the region champion and the state tournament seedings.

The lionhearted Jackson County Panthers who eclipsed the 16-win mark and a spot in the state playoffs for the first time in 14 years faced off with the up and coming East Jackson Eagles in the second round of the tournament in what was a much-anticipated third meeting of the two rival schools.

The Panthers got the best of the Eagles in the teams’ first two meetings but all of that was thrown out the window when the two met at a neutral venue.

Coming off a 6-game win streak, the Eagles jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead to start the game after forward Jaylen Morgan knocked down a 3-pointer and hammered down a baseline dunk.

The Panthers knocked down back-to-back shots to cut the Eagles’ lead to three points but a Drue Drinnon pass to Travis Anderson resulted in a 3-point swish to give East Jackson a 10-4 advantage.

The Panthers then answered with three straight buckets to tie the game up at 10-10 and then took the lead 12-10 but Drinnon quickly tied the game up at 12-12 seconds later.

Then entered 5-9 sophomore guard Xavier Clark.

Clark who has been a minor contributor for the Eagles for much of the season entered into the game due to some foul trouble for East Jackson and made the most of the opportunity.

Clark quickly stole a pass from the Panthers and converted it into a contested layup to give the Eagles the lead back at 14-12. Seconds later, Anderson threw a pass to Clark who then launched up a 3-pointer and drained it as the crowd erupted in East Jackson’s favor.

East Jackson head coach David Boyd was extremely pleased with the spark that Clark gave the East Jackson squad.

“Tremendous, just tremendous,” Boyd said. “We were in foul trouble and he came in and played great he really did.”

However, the scrappy Panthers would not go away quietly and took an 18-17 lead with just over a minute left in the first. Drinnon and Anderson were none too pleased with the result and quickly took the game into their own hands and drained one 3-pointer apiece to give the Eagles a 23-18 lead heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter featured turnover after turnover for both teams which resulted in just 19 points being scored between the two schools. However, it was the Eagles who held a 32-25 lead with just three seconds before the half.

With the score likely to stand going into the break, Anderson had other ideas. Anderson buried a corner 3-pointer right in front of the Jackson County crowd as the buzzer sound which gave the Eagles a 10-point advantage at the break.

The third quarter was the best showing by the Eagles. As a team they shot 50 percent from the field on 6-of-12 shooting and knocked down six free throws as well. Drinnon connected on four buckets while Anderson added three, respectively.

The quarter also featured a dunk from Andrew Scott, a player in which the Panthers had announced was no longer apart of the East Jackson basketball team.

The Panthers held things close for much of the quarter, but the Eagles outscored them 18-14 which gave East Jackson a 14-point advantage with one quarter to play.

The fourth quarter belonged to senior Kamron Walters who knocked down three huge shots, two of which came on put backs. The senior had a chance to tie the game in overtime against the Panthers in their second meeting but failed to do so. He got his revenge on Friday night.

“Kameron has just been outstanding,” Boyd said. “He only started playing basketball in his sophomore year so he’s inexperienced but he’s just been great to have. He understands his role and came up big for us tonight.”

Boyd felt especially happy for Walters after what happened to him in Game 2 against the Panthers just a few short weeks back.

“I felt bad about what happened to him at the end of that game,” he said. “It’s hard to come in and be asked to make a big play when you haven’t played much in the game so I blamed myself for that but he came up really big tonight.”

The Eagles took all of the eat out of the Panthers late in the fourth quarter and cruised to a 71-49 win to secure no worse than a No. 2 seed in the state playoffs. The loss moved the Panthers into a game with the Jefferson Dragons to determine the No. 3 seed.

“I thought that the difference between the first two times we played them (Jackson Co.) and this time was the defense,” Boyd said. “They hurt us on the inside with their post players playing very well in the first two games but we did an excellent job of slowing Ellis and Giroux down tonight.”

East Jackson’s goal for the game was to get into transition as much as they could and that’s exactly what they did.

“We felt that our big four did a great job of spreading the floor and that helped us get into transition and run all night,” Boyd said. “We haven’t had all of our guys all season long until the very end so we’re happy. Anytime you can beat Jackson County is a plus.”

Drinnon finished with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting including 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. On what might have been a up and down shooting night for Drinnon, he couldn’t have been more happy with the outcome.

“That was the best team effort we have had all year,” Drinnon said. “Everyone played their role, played hard and helped us win the game”

Drinnon was especially happy for Walters.

“That was probably one of his best games all season,” he said. “His best game came against Oconee but that was definitely a close second.”

When asked how good it felt to shut up all of the doubters and knock off the rival Panthers in the biggest game of the season, Drinnon answered calmly and gracefully.

“It feels good, there’s nothing they can say.” he said. “We just beat them to go to the region finals. That it.”

Anderson, who has been Drinnon’s right-hand man all season long put together a solid game of his own. He finished with 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting and had five rebounds and three steals to go along with it.

“Coach told us that we had to play like a team in order to win today and we did just that,” Anderson said. There is no I in team.”

Anderson was equally if not more happy to knock off Jackson County as well.

“It feels really good, especially with the amount of trash they talk and them saying a lot of negative stuff in their little newsletter and stuff like that. We beat them in the one that mattered.”

The win moved the Eagles into the region tournament finale for the first time in school history but waited for them was Morgan County who is the No. 1 ranked AAA team in the state of Georgia.

After a valiant effort, the Eagles were sent home with a 9-point loss, 60-51 against the Bulldogs and will take on Central-Carroll in the first round of the state playoffs as a No. 2 seed.

Jackson County took care of business against Jefferson, 57-54 and will take on Rockmart in the first round of the playoffs.

Week 13 Rankings (State Playoffs)


  1. Wheeler (22-5)
  2. Westlake (22-4)
  3. Norcross (25-3)
  4. Tift County (26-2)
  5. McEachern (24-3)
  6. Shiloh (22-5)
  7. Pebblebrook (19-9)
  8. Newton (23-4)
  9. Lambert (26-2)
  10. Collins Hill (24-4)

 Class AAAAA

  1. Miller Grove (25-2)
  2. Allatoona (27-0)
  3. McIntosh (26-2)
  4. Cedar Shoals (26-2)
  5. Riverwood (27-1)
  6. Gainesville (20-5)
  7. Warner Robins (20-2)
  8. South Paulding (23-4)
  9. LaGrange (22-5)
  10. Effingham County (22-4)

Class AAAA

  1. Jonesboro (24-4)
  2. Liberty County (23-1)
  3. Grady (25-3)
  4. Lithonia (22-5)
  5. Upson-Lee (23-3)
  6. Walnut Grove (24-4)
  7. Eagle’s Landing (24-4)
  8. St. Pius (22-6)
  9. Bainbridge (20-8)
  10. Sandy Creek (19-7)

Class AAA

  1. Morgan County (21-4)
  2. Calhoun (25-0)
  3. Laney (24-2)
  4. Central-Macon (25-2)
  5. Jenkins (24-4)
  6. South Atlanta (22-6)
  7. Callaway (18-3)
  8. Cedar Grove (18-7)
  9. Westside-Augusta (18-4)
  10. East Hall (20-7)

Class AA

  1. Thomasville (26-1)
  2. Crawford County (22-3)
  3. Pace Academy (16-10)
  4. Dublin (23-4)
  5. Early County (21-7)
  6. Lovett (20-6)
  7. Seminole County (19-7)
  8. Vidalia (23-4)
  9. Swainsboro (18-7)
  10. Manchester (21-5)

Class A-Private

  1. Greenforest (26-2)
  2. St. Francis (20-7)
  3. North Cobb Christian (22-4)
  4. Our Lady of Mercy (21-5)
  5. Stratford Academy (19-5)
  6. Lakeview Academy (24-4)
  7. SWAC (18-9)
  8. Whitefield Academy (18-10)
  9. Tattnall Square Academy (17-9)
  10. Walker (18-8)

Class A-Public

  1. Wilkinson County (22-6)
  2. Turner County (21-6)
  3. Treutlen (24-3)
  4. Hancock Central (21-6)
  5. Taylor County (20-7)
  6. Calhoun County (17-9)
  7. Randolph-Clay (18-9)
  8. Clinch County (17-10)
  9. Atkinson County (18-7)
  10. Lincoln County (16-7)

February Frenzy Bracket Challenge

Just like March Madness, I will be doing a February Frenzy Bracket Challenge.  The same rules apply for the high school game.

1.) ONE bracket per classification may be entered.
-You may enter as many classifications as you want

2.) Mark a tiebreaker TOTAL points final score for the championship game.

3.) All brackets must be submitted prior to Tuesday night tipoff with name/twitter account attached.

Empty Brackets: Click here for empty brackets

Region Tournament Results: Click here for Region Tournament results

Please print/take a picture of your brackets and scan/email/DM me your bracket to be scored. ([email protected], @KyleSandy355)


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