Class A-Public semifinal report from Valdosta

Wilkinson County will meet Montgomery County on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Macon Centreplex for the boys Class A-Public title. Wilkinson County moved to 10-3 in the state semifinals under head coach Aaron Geter with a last-second 61-60 win over Central-Talbotton at Valdosta State. The Warriors are 9-0 in the state finals, all under Geter. Montgomery County seeks its first state title after an 80-78 win over Calhoun County, last year’s runner-up.

Greenville will meet Marion County for the girls final on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Macon Centreplex. Greenville advanced with a 73-62 win over Telfair County, and Marion County held off Terrell County 45-40. Both teams are seeking their first state titles. Greenville defeated Marion County twice in the regular season, but Marion County prevailed in a Region 4 tournament meeting on Feb. 9.


Montgomery County 80, Calhoun County 78: Montgomery County trailed for much of the game but battled back to defeat Calhoun County. Down 18-16 in the first quarter, Montgomery County forced three turnovers during a 5-0 run and took a 21-18 lead. Calhoun County quickly regained the lead and ended the first half up 43-36. 

With 1:35 left in the game, Montgomery County made four free throws to go up 77-69. But Calhoun County would use free throws of its own to get back in the game, cutting the Montgomery County lead to 79-78 with under a minute to play. Montgomery County was able to hold onto the win, however, as a Calhoun County shot attempt on its last possession missed. Senior guard Shaw Robinson led the Montgomery County offense with 22 points, and senior guard Daveaun Coglin scored 18.

Wilkinson County 61, Central-Talbotton 60: At the end of the first quarter, defending champion Wilkinson County was up by only two points over Central-Talbotton, 17-15, but Central committed seven fouls in the opening period. Wilkinson County extended its lead to four points with a 31-27 advantage at halftime.

Central battled back to make it a 48-43 Wilkinson County lead with four minutes left in the game. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Central’s senior guard JaQuavius Smith drew a foul and made two free throws to make it a one-point game, 59-58. With six seconds remaining, Javaris Copeland made a jump shot to give Central a one-point lead. But Wilkinson County got the game-winner when it inbounded the ball to junior guard Raequan Smith, who weaved through the Hawks defense for a layup in the final seconds.


Greenville 73, Telfair County 62: No. 2 Greenville defeated No. 1 Telfair County 73-62 to advance to the Class A-Public finals. Senior point guard Brittany Davis scored 47 points to lead the Greenville offense. Davis averaged 31.7 points per game during the regular season, a mark that she has surpassed now in every playoff game. 

Other top scorers for Greenville included freshman guards Adriana Perdue (10 points) and Nuriyah Slaton (7), who, head coach Waqueisha Tenney said, also led the team defensively down the stretch. “Shania Simon and Slaton were the heartbeat of our defense in the second half,” she said. 

Marion County 45, Terrell County 40: Terrell County got an early jump on Marion County, going up 10-4 at the end of the first quarter. Senior post player Janiya Crowell’s eight points in the first half helped give her team a 22-13 lead at the break. Marion County’s offense struggled in the third quarter, only scoring six points, but the Lady Eagles still led 28-21 heading into the fourth quarter. Terrell County’s 19-point final quarter was not enough, as Marion County held on 45-40.

Marion County head coach Fran McPherson said that Crowell, a team captain, was the key to victory. “I thought the play of Janiya Crowell on defense and offense was the difference in the game,” McPherson said. Crowell led her team with 12 points and 12 rebounds, followed by senior forward Torri Myers with eight points and five rebounds.

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