To win its AA first-round game against Dublin High School, the Cook girls basketball team needed to play a full four quarters and get a great game from leading scorer Turelle Jones. Neither happened and the Hornets lost 50-38 in Dublin on Friday.
The first half doomed Cook (12-9) as the Fighting Irish led 29-15 after 16 minutes. The Hornets were outscored 18-11 in the first quarter, then managed a meager five points in the second period.
"We reverted back to the beginning of the season instead of playing the type of basketball that got us here," first-year coach Kajuansa Cornelius said. "We were not pounding the ball inside."
Too few touches and too many turnovers combined to limit Jones to eight points, 10 under her season average. Jones, a junior, and Latrice Doe tied for the team-high with eight points, while Candace Keeley and Shatorie Jennings each had seven points.
The Hornets, the third seed out of Region 1, lose four seniors, while Dublin (18-8), the second seed from Region 3, advances to sectionals at Savannah State on Friday.
Brooks County's girls basketball team ended the year the way it began -- searching for players. Unfortunately for first-year coach Lamar Thomas, there was no one left to turn to on Friday.
Dodge County beat Brooks 75-44 in the first round of the state AA playoffs as the Trojans finished the game with only five available players.
Brooks, the No. 6 seed entering the region tournament, has had only nine players at its disposal most of the season. The bad news started before the game when Marci Mills, the team's lone senior, turned an ankle in physical education class and had to miss her final game. Then, three players fouled out minutes into the third quarter, leaving the Trojans with an empty bench. Two of the final five players finished with four fouls, forcing them to play phantom defense late in the game.
"They were all big," said Thomas of 27-2 Dodge County, Region 3's top seed and the No. 4 team in the state. "All our big girls fouled out, so we had a bunch of guards in the game. We were down 15 in the first half, so we were kind of in it. They got a lot of easy layups lobbing the ball in over our girls."
Ronika Williams finished with 15 points for the Trojans (7-17), while Kellye Burch ended up with a team-high 17 points.
"Everybody said we looked a lot better than last year," Thomas said. "And the girls, they're happy with that."
A good loss
Despite a 3-0 loss at Centennial on Friday, Lowndes boys soccer coach Paul Strassburg left the match with a satisfied feeling. The Knights are ranked No. 5 in Class AAAAA by the coaches and provided the Vikings (1-1) with a good barometer of where they stand in the state's upper echelon.
"Surely, I'm not walking away crying," Strassburg said. "I'm pleased with the game. The players have a hard time understanding. To them, wins and losses is it."
Lowndes will have another upset opportunity today at 3 p.m. at Chattahoochee, the No. 9 team in the class. The games were also beneficial because both teams will make return trips to Valdosta next year.
"It's hard to get those teams to come here," Strassburg said. "This is part of my quest to give us the most difficult schedule. I think I did a good job."
No. 1 Brookwood also remains on this year's slate for Lowndes.
Forwards Trey Conrey and Ryan Townson had chances to score, but an unrelenting Centennial attack put the pressure on the defense.
"We had a hard time developing too much offense because we were busy playing a lot of defense," Strassburg said.
VHS boys tie Camden
Adam Mark's goal in the 67th minute gave Valdosta High's boys soccer team a 1-1 tie with Camden County Friday night at Cleveland Field.
Valdosta's Ryan Steltenpohl took the ball in the box and shot. The goalkeeper knocked the ball down, but couldn't grab it, and Mark knocked in the rebound for the goal.
Neither team was able to score in the final minutes.
"We've started with (two) ties, like we did last year," Valdosta coach Bob Blevins said. "We lost seven starters from last year, including four All-Region players, but we've got a good group of players this year."
Camden, last year's Region 3-AAAAA champions, had scored in the 55th minute. But that was all they could get by Valdosta goalie Dustin Rivera, despite several scoring chances.
Valdosta's girls lost 4-0 to Camden.
Valdosta hosts Albany High on Tuesday.
Lowndes tennis makes 2005 debut a winner at Houston County
In Warner Robins, Lowndes High's tennis teams won their opener Friday against Houston County, taking a 5-0 boys' win and a 4-1 girls' win.
In boys' singles play, Mike Millner (6-0, 6-0), Matt Odom (6-0, 6-1) and Andrew Odom (6-3, 6-1) all won. In boys' double, Dane Boruff and Nick Brogdon (6-1, 6-1) and Clayton Griffin and Ben Galloway (6-1, 6-1) each won.
In girls' singles play, Lacey Hansen (6-0, 6-1) and Tayler Jarvis (6-2, 6-1) won, while Leah Tayler and Savannah Roberts (6-0, 2-6, 6-4) and Jamie Futch and Lauren Godwin (6-0, 6-1) won in doubles play.
Lowndes' junior varsity boys also were winners, getting wins from Andrew Smith (6-0, 6-2), Perry Pulido (6-0, 6-1) and Eli Roundtree (6-3, 6-1) in singles action. In doubles, Chris Shipman and Billy Ebert (6-3, 7-6) and Max Soubannarath and Chase Tomlinson (6-3, 6-2) won.
In girls junior varsity play, Carolyn Blount won 8-1.
Lowndes varsity will next play Berrien County March 1 at Valdosta State. The Lowndes junior varsity hosts Ware County Thursday.
Valwood Jr. Pro girls win local tournament
The Valwood 6th grade girls won a junior pro basketball tournament in Dasher, defeating Echols 14-9 in the final game. Heather Hathcock led the Lady Valiants with six points and Nicole Bohannon added four.
Valwood defeated St. John 24-8 in the first round and Southland 26-12 in the second round, with Hathcock leading the scoring with 10 points in each game. The Lady Valiants ended their Jr. Pro season with a 7-2 record.
The Valwood Junior Pro boys defeated Faith Christian in the first round 35-4. Valen Lopez had nine points and Alex Elliott added eight.
The boys lost to St. John 39-32 in the second round. Alston Barr led the scoring with 10 points. The boys ended their season 5-3.
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