Stephenson Defeats Allatoona; Punch Ticket To Final Four

Daniel Kinchen scored 12 straight points off the bench to end the first quarter giving Stephenson a 20-7 lead and the Jaguars never looked back defeating Allatoona 57-38 in the quarterfinals. Montez Sweat was the lone Stephenson starter in double-figures with 12 points but left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.

Kinchen finished with a game-high 16 points, Delmont Walton put in 9 and Juwan Henderson chipped in 8.

Allatoona, led only once 1-0 and trailed by double digits most of the game, would get within nine points with just under two minutes to go in the third. Stephenson made another push ripping off an 8-0 run over the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter sealing the deal. Daniel Fowler was the lone Buccaneer in double-figures with 12 points, eight of those coming from the foul line. Rodney Brown was the next highest scorer with 9.

Allatoona finishes their season 30-2 and suffered their only loss of the season to a Georgia team.

Stephenson (25-7) will face Warner Robins (27-2) in the semifinals Saturday at Fort Valley State University. Warner Robins defeated Bainbridge 69-48 in the quarterfinals.

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McEachern Advances To Final Four

McEachern (26-2) continued to roll through the state playoffs defeating Douglas County 81-52 to advance to the semifinals for the second time in three seasons. The Lady Indians did not take long to put Douglas County away jumping out to an 11-point lead after the first quarter and led by 26 at halftime 45-19.

Leading scorer T’ea Cooper paced McEachern with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals. Cooper is averaging 23.3 points during the state playoffs. Caliya Robinson fell one block shy of a triple double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 9 blocks. Taylor Gordon finished with 13 points and 7 steals, Jada Lewis tallied 10 points and 8 assist while Aunesha Williams finished with 6 points and 7 steals.

Maya Benham led Douglas County (23-5) with 17 points and Santasia Faust added 12.

McEachern, the tournaments highest scoring team averaging 93 points, will play South Forsyth (27-5) in the semifinals Saturday at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion. South Forsyth averages 59 points-per-game in the state tournament including victories over storied programs Norcross and Parkview in the previous two rounds.

Robinson’s Triple-Double Pushes McEachern To Quarterfinals

Caliya Robinson posted her fourth triple-double of the season, again with blocks, as the Lady Indians opened up an eight-point lead after halftime to better Brunswick 94-75.

McEachern, after leading 40-32 at the half,  opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run taking a 52-36 lead forcing a Brunswick timeout two minutes into the quarter. Robinson sparked the run both offensively and defensively while T’ea Cooper, Jada Lewis, Taylor Gordon and Aunesha Williams were vital during the quarter as the Indians outscored the Pirates 31-17. McEachern’s lead swelled to 24 points before ending the quarter with a 22-point lead, 71-49.

In the fourth McEachern put the game away at the foul line coming away with the 94-75 victory. The teams combined for 56 fouls and 75 free throw attempts in a contest that had both coaches,players and fans voicing their opinions on multiple touch fouls throughout the night. McEachern was 23-of-36 and Brunswick was 22-of-39.

McEachern’s starters combined for 72 points as Robinson finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 17 blocks. T’ea Cooper led McEachern in scoring with 21 points adding 7 assists and 3 steals before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. Jada Lewis tallied 15 points, Taylor Gordon added 12 and Aunesha Williams finished with 8 points. DeClara Daniels added 11 points off the bench.

Brunswick’s (25-4) Destiny Alston showcased her array of moves and speed to a game-high 32 points. Brianna Gipson was the only other double-figure scorer for the Lady Pirates finishing with 13 points.

“She’s a good player,” McEachern head coach Phyllis Arthur said about Alston. “We’ll let her get her 30 so long as we stop everyone else and do what we’re suppose to do.”

McEachern moved up to No. 18 this week nationally improving to 25-2, winning their 22nd straight game and are averaging 99 points per game through two state tournament games. They will host Douglas County (23-4) Wednesday in the quarterfinals. McEachern defeated Douglas County in a preseason scrimmage in early November.

Brevet And Fowler Lead Allatoona Into Second Round

Bradley Brevet got Allatoona off to a fast start by scoring 9 of their first 11 points in their state tournament opener against Sequoyah. Brevet scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half as Allatoona led 38-22 at halftime. In the second half  Daniel Fowler put in 15 of his 17 points as the Buccaneers defeated Sequoyah 77-56.

Rodney Brown added 12 points while Ephraim Tshimanga and Drew Swanson each had 9 for Allatoona. Sequoyah (13-15) was led by Dalton Satterfield’s 21 points, Satterfield connected on four three’s in the contest.

Allatoona (28-1) will host ML King (22-10) in the second round Tuesday evening. ML King defeated Apalachee 70-64 in the first round on Saturday. ML King’s region 6-5A went 4-0 in the first round of the state tournament, region 5-5A went 2-2.

Region 6-5A Scores: Miller Grove 66 Gainesville 23, Stephenson 80 Salem 46, Tucker 72 Clarke Central 53.

Region 5-5A Scores: Pope 60 South Paulding 52, Villa Rica 66 Sprayberry 63, Osbourne 64 Hiram 48.

McEachern Routs Rockdale County In State Tournament Opener

The McEachern Lady Indians erased a bad memory of losing in the first round of the state playoffs last season by defeating Rockdale County (13-10) 104-46 in this season’s first round. It was their second game scoring 100 or more points in seven days and first state tournament win since their state title in 2012.

T’ea Cooper led McEachern with 21 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. Caliya Robinson stuffed the stat line again with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals. Jada Lewis added 18 while Taylor Gordon had 12. McEachern is averaging 84.3 points-per-game, winning by an average margin of 35 points-per-game and are 6-0 in February.

McEachern (24-2) seeks their 23rd consecutive victory Monday night when they host Brunswick in the second round. Brunswick (25-3) defeated Langston Hughes in the first round 61-54.

The Lady Pirates went 1-2 against Lowndes (19-8) this season losing in the region title game in their last meeting. In two losses to Lowndes and one to class 3A power Washington County (25-0), Brunswick lost by a combined 18 points. Washington County and Lowndes are still alive in the state tournament.

Marian Catholic (IL) (17-4) is the only team to hold McEachern under 40 points this season winning 46-29 in late November. McEachern has not lost since scoring 56 or more points in 20 of their last 21 victories, defeating teams from five different states and are 20-0 against Georgia teams.

Allatoona Wins Region 5-5A Title

Allatoona (27-1) defeated South Paulding (22-5) 52-42 to win the region 5-5A championship at Villa Rica.

“This means a lot, we really worked hard for it,” Buccaneer senior Trey Tshimanga said. “We push each other to the max every day single day starting off work from day one, I guess it paid off.”

“This is very important to me and everybody on this team. We worked really hard during the off-season, we just want to play together as a team, have fun and win basketball games,” Allatoona’s leading scorer Daniel Fowler said.

The Buccaneers are in the state tournament for the fourth consecutive season and will host Sequoyah (12-15) in the first round on Saturday. Sequoyah is the four-seed out of Region 7-5A.

“They shoot the ball and the three, they mix it up things with their defense and their press. You cannot over look a team and a coach like Sequoayah,” Allatoona head coach Markus Hood said.

McEachern Downs Hillgrove, Win Region Championship

The McEachern Lady Indians won their 21st consecutive game with a 72-60 victory over Hillgrove (22-4) in the Region 4-6A title game. McEachern will host Rockdale County (13-9) in the opening round of the state tournament Friday Night seeking to avoid being upset for the second consecutive season in the first round.

Rockdale County, the four-seed out of Region 2-6A, averages 44.5 points per game led by senior Brianna Patton with 13.5.

Te’a Cooper, Taylor Gordon, Caliya Robinson and Jada Lewis lead a deep McEachern team averaging 67 points and 17 steals a game. McEachern (24-2) is currently the top-ranked team in all of Georgia and 19th nationally.

Allatoona Steals Villa Rica’s Upset Bid

Villa Rica trailed Allatoona by 13 points in the third quarter and by 10 at the end of it 42-32. In the fourth they were bidding for the upset. Yassar El’Amin drove for a deuce that brought the Wildcats to within five at 44-39 with 3:10 to play. Rodney Hill came to life scoring seven points in the quarter. Hill scored off an offensive rebound followed by a corner three-pointer, after Allatoona missed the front end of the one-and-one, tying the game at 48 with 16 seconds remaining. Hill finished with 10 points.

“They tried to spread us and go one on one up top and shooting the ball hoping for the foul. (Rodney Hill) got loose and got hot…(Marcus Miller) and (Hill) are two of their best shooters and (Hill) hit a big shot, heck of a job,” Allatoona head coach Markus Hood said.

Allatoona’s Daniel Fowler was fouled near mid court with 10 seconds to play sending the senior to the foul line for the one-and-one. Dorsey rebounded the missed free throw, gave it to El’Amin who had it stolen by Fowler and he put in a soft lay-up as the horn sounded. An uproar from the Villa Rica faithful drowned out the horn looking for a foul on the steal, the Allatoona faithful cheered in victory. The lead official quickly signaled to the scorers table that the basket counted and the game was over, 50-48 Allatoona.

“We had two trapping. Ephriam has the best hands of anybody I’ve ever coached, Daniel turned him went right into him got the steal and Daniel made a heck of a play,” Hood said. “We knew there were out of timeouts at that moment. We showed the toughness, we won the ballgame, we didn’t lose this ballgame and that’s very important for us to know. We won a tough game against a tough team.”

Fowler finished with a team-high 13 points, Ephraim Tshimanga added 8, Bradley Brevet 7 while Shamar Griffin and Malik Cornelius had six each for Allatoona. The Buccaneers shot 69% from the foul line.

Josh Lay led Villa Rica (20-7) with 14 going 8-for-9 from the free throw line. Yassar El’Amin tallied 10 going 6-for-9 from the line. Lay and El’Amin combined to shoot 18 of Villa Rica’s 20 free throws. Marcus Miller finished with nine points.

Allatoona (26-1) advances to the region championship game where they will play South Paulding (22-4). South Paulding has won for of their last five and defeated Hiram in the region semifinals. The Spartans fell to the Buccaneers during their only regular season meeting in December 55-43.

Region 5-5A Tournament Update; Villa Rica, Allatoona Advance

Josh Lay scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half including 10 in a decisive third quarter for the Wildcats. Villa Rica broke open an 18-18 game at halftime behind Lay’s strong third quarter to defeat Rome (14-11) 45-38.

Villa Rica won their 20th game of the season improving to 20-6 overall. Villa Rica owns a victory over South Atlanta however South Atlanta failed to reach the state tournament, making that win less important overall. The Wildcats will face Allatoona in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Villa Rica High School.

Marcus Miller was the only other Wildcat to finish in double-figures with 10.

Reserve Tre Driver scored 12 points for Rome and was 4-6 shooting from three-point territory. Desmond Jackson also added 12 for Rome which season concludes with seven more victories (14) than they had last season when they went 7-20 overall.

Allatoona is ranked in the Top 5 of many state polls and used a balance effort on offense and stingy team defense to coast by New Manchester (15-11) 72-43.

Daniel Fowler led Allatoona with 15 points while Rodney Brown and Trey Tshimanga added 14 each.

Allatoona improves to 25-1 overall and have yet to lose to a team from Georgia.

“We scheduled the way we did this season for two reasons, one was to get the guys out of town and to bond and two we wanted to be able to get them the experience of scouting and playing against teams they were not use to seeing and playing,” Allatoona head coach Markus Hood told Georgia Prep Sports Network after the game, in reference to his teams national scheduling. “We schedule that way to prepare for the postseason,” Hood added.

New Manchester was led in scoring by Tyler Edward (15) and Joe Boyer (11). Big men Glenn Holloway and Kyle Parker tallied eight points each while fighting foul trouble most of the game.

Allatoona was 4-1 against non-Georgia teams this season with victories over three Alabama teams and split against two Kentucky teams, losing to Iroquois (KY) by one point in their only loss of the season.

No. 19 McEachern Enters Region Tournament On 19-Game Win Streak

Saturday Update: McEachern closed out their regular season with an 88-23 victory over South Cobb. The Lady Indians finished the regular season 22-2 overall and 16-0 in Region 4-6A winning their last 19 games. T’ea Cooper led the Lady Indians in scoring (19.2), assists (5.4) and steals (4.4). Taylor Gordon (12.8) and Caliya Robinson (12.0) average in double figures while Robinson is a double-double threat. Robinson is McEachern’s leading rebounder grabbing 10.7 per game, adding 5.5 blocks.

The top-seeded Lady Indians will host the region tournament and will return to action Tuesday Feb. 18th in the semifinals against the Marietta/Harrison winner.

Friday Update: The McEachern Lady Indians won their 18th consecutive game with a 103-38 victory over Campbell sweeping the season series while improving to 19-2 overall and 13-0 in the region. It was the Lady Indians’ fourth win in five days, their first time eclipsing 100 points this season and their second game defeating an opponent by 60-plus points. McEachern defeated Kennesaw Mountain by 62 points earlier this season.

On senior night, Caliya Robinson tallied her third triple-double (all with blocks) of the season with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks, adding 3 assists and 4 steals. Taylor Gordon led the way scoring for McEachern with 33 points, canning eight three-pointers on the night. Gordon added 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Te’a Cooper put in 20 points, dropped off 10 assists and recorded a season-high 8 steals. Jada Lewis had a fine night going for 14 points, 7 assists and 4 steals. Aunesha Williams went for a double-double putting in 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with 4 assists and 4 steals.

McEachern will close out the regular season today against South Cobb, who they defeated on Monday 44-38 with their bench getting the bulk of the minutes. .

Wednesday Update: McEachern (19-2; 13-0) won its 17th straight game sweeping the season series against region opponent Harrison, winning 80-47 Wednesday night. McEachern outscored Harrison 152-89 in two region games this season.

The Lady Indians have their only day off this week today, Thursday, before returning to action Friday against Campbell and Saturday against South Cobb before hosting the region tournament next week.

Tuesday Update: McEachern (18-2; 12-0) used its bench to defeat South Cobb 44-38 on Monday. Tuesday featured a balanced rotation in sweeping the season series against Kennesaw Mountain in a 72-30 win. They have won 16 straight games.

Previous: The McEachern Lady Indians (16-2 overall; 10-0 in Region 4-6A) will complete the final week of the regular season with five games in six days. They last played on January 25th against Hoover (AL) going 5-0 during a five game in nine-day stretch and were looking to get a day off. School closings last week due to weather forced two games to be rescheduled resulting in six days off.

McEachern will open today hosting South Cobb, at Kennesaw Mountain, host Harrison, host Campbell and will return the trip to South Cobb to close the week Saturday, Thursday is their only off day.

The Lady Indians are on a 14-game winning streak and ranked No. 19 nationally. They have not lost to a Georgia opponent this season and their last lost was in November.