The final games of the basketball region tournaments wrapped up Saturday night, but by Friday evening, two things already were set in stone — the Bradwell Institute Lady Tigers and the Liberty County High School boys’ squad clinched spots to the state playoffs.
The Lady Tigers earned a 77-39 win over Windsor Forest on Wednesday night. Lady Tiger coach Faye Baker said her team concentrated on keeping the ball away from the Lady Knights’ primary ball handler, and that was the key to the victory and the wide point spread.
Shaquoia Crockett had a big game, logging 30 points, seven assists and seven steals. The girls faced Glynn Academy on Friday night but lost, 57-44.
“Well, they pretty much out-played us and did the same thing we did to Windsor Forest, which was they kept the ball out of Coco’s hands,” Baker said. “And we didn’t play as good of a defensive game as we should have. But I have to give credit to Glynn; they came in with a great game plan and their kids played hard and they played well.”
Friday’s loss pitted the Lady Tigers against Ware County on Saturday afternoon for a Region 3-AAAAA third-place battle.
Baker said her squad would focus on the Lady Gators’ point guard, and she hoped her girls would play to their full potential to get back on track for the first round of state playoffs Tuesday.
She expressed disappointment over the loss to Glynn and said it would have been nice to play for a region championship and to have home-court advantage for the state playoffs.
Due to the loss, the Lady Tigers will play a still-undetermined team from Region 2-AAAAA on the road. The remaining four teams in that region are Houston, Evans, Northside and Warner-Robbins.
The Bradwell boys didn’t fare as well in the region tournament, losing 64-54 against Windsor Forest on Thursday night in the first round.
The Liberty Lady Panthers won the first game of the Region 3-AAAA challenge, downing Richmond Academy, 63-55. But on Tuesday the girls fell to Cross Creek, 63-37.
The boys eked out a 56-55 win over Cross Creek on Tuesday but fell to Butler, 72-66, on Thursday. The Panther boys battled for third place against Glenn Hills on Friday but came out flat and were defeated, 69-26.
“We were not mentally prepared for the game from the start,” Panther coach Willie Graham said. “It went downhill fast.”
Because of the fourth-place finish, Graham said he knew they would advance to the state playoffs, so he pulled some of his starters from Friday’s game and gave other players an opportunity.
The boys travel for state and drew Rutland. They tip off Wednesday, but the coach said the time is undetermined.
Graham is familiar with Rutland from summer play. He said they have two quick, aggressive guards to watch out for, and they play a fast-paced game.