The Lowndes girls broke through with a victory on Tuesday. The Vikettes snapped their drought in Region 1-AAAAA with a 42-37 victory against Colquitt County. It also brought first-year coach Shan Garner his first win in the region.
"We've been knocking on the door, and we finally got it done," Garner said.
The Vikettes powered home that point with a dominating inside game. Thirty-two of Lowndes' points came from its post players as Garner intended to wear down the Packers. The philosophy worked as Star Bradley led Lowndes with 11 points followed by forwards Candace McGriff (nine), and Marley Williams and Jennifer Pittman with six apiece.
The Vikettes also found their shooting touch to pay off on all their good looks on the interior.
"We pumped it into the post, and we finished," Garner said. "We rebounded very well, and our post play was excellent."
The team shot well enough from the free-throw line (9-of-20), to keep Lowndes in front for most of the night. However, a 10-point lead three minutes into the third quarter evaporated by the fourth, as Colquitt (10-9, 3-2 in the region) led 35-34 with 3:27 to play. Lowndes was back up by a bucket with 34 seconds remaining, then stole the ball on back-to-back possessions, part of 25 turnovers by Colquitt on the night, to cement the victory for the Vikettes (8-10, 1-5).
The Lowndes boys benefitted from a frenetic pace all game to disrupt Colquitt, 72-54. The Packers (13-6, 3-2) knocked 1-AAAAA rival Coffee from the unbeaten ranks a week ago, but couldn't keep pace with the Vikings. Coach Rob Williams used all 15 of his players in the first quarter and never let up, rotating often.
"The goal was to keep the defensive pressure up the whole game," Williams said. "In the past, we'd slack for four or five minutes and they'd come back, so I'd get scared and leave our better players out there. Then, they'd get tired.
"Tonight, I kept rotating and the bench worked real hard."
The persistence paid off in plenty of transition points off 21 Colquitt turnovers. The lead grew to nine at the end of the first quarter and 15 by halftime.
The victory gives the Vikings (12-7, 2-4) more footing in the region, especially with defending champion Tift out of the way heading into the final four region contests.
"It was almost do-or-die," Williams said. "You can't be 1-5 with four games left. We would have pretty much been done."
Point guard A.J. Brown drove the offense with 15 points, leading four players in double figures. Terrance Vinson hauled in 14 rebounds with his 11 points, while Khari Thompson chipped in with 12 and junior Larry Jackson had 10.
Wayne Grandy of the Moultrie Observer contributed to this report.
React to this story:
- Trump in Valdosta: S.Ga. excited, outraged by presidential visit
- Trump scheduled to visit Valdosta
- Georgia COVID-19 restrictions extended again
- Times working to confirm Trump rally
- Pair arrested for drugs, card fraud during traffic stop
- UPDATE: Tornado Warning expires
- Valdosta man arrested after high-speed car chase
- Marshals arrest suspect in Valdosta stabbing death
- Valdosta police still seek missing mother, son
- Lowndes adds 10 COVID-19 cases, SGMC reports five deaths