Six teams punch tickets to state basketball playoffs

comboThe state championship picture is suddenly getting much clearer. Six out of ten county basketball teams are headed to the playoffs, and five still have a shot at a region championship.
The lone round two matchup between county schools saw the McIntosh Lady Chiefs exact sweet revenge on Fayette County. After losing to the Tigers twice during the regular season, the third time was the charm with a 54-42 win.
“I told (the team) how proud I am for overcoming a demon of sorts where we’ve had some leads against a really good Fayette team and let them get away from us,” said McIntosh coach David Dowse. “This time we closed the show. We showed a little bit of grit and some intelligence and skill.”
The victory earns the Chiefs a shot at the region championship against Griffin.
“That’s what we came here for,” said Dowse. “I reminded them we didn’t come here to finish second. Tomorrow morning when we wake up, we’re getting ready to play for a championship.”
The Lady Bears are a formidable foe at 24-1 having beaten McIntosh twice during the regular season, but the Chiefs are confident. In their second meeting, they pushed the Bears to the brink in a 59-55 loss.
“We can play with them. I know we can,” said Dowse. “They’re super talented. They’ve got some unbelievable players, but I also think that we understand what we do well and what they do well. We know what we have to do to put ourselves in position to have a chance to win.”
After entering the tourney as the top seed and earning a bye, the Fayette boys plundered the Riverdale Raiders 75-65 Thursday evening. The win pushed the Tigers into Friday night’s region title game.
The Starr’s Mill boys started red hot against the Griffin Bears en route to a 68-40 romp. A Drew Hudson 3-pointer kicked off the scoring as the Panthers reeled off a 12-0 run to start the night and the romp was on.
In 4A, the Sandy Creek Lady Patriots punched their ticket to their region championship game with a 44-40 overtime thriller at home against the Troup County Tigers.
The Patriots shook off a sluggish first half where they struggled to a 27-14 deficit at the break. They battled back to send the game into overtime 38-38 and outscored the Tigers 6-2 in the final frame.
They advance to the region title game where they face LaGrange at LaGrange Saturday, February 11 at 6 p.m.
As a second seed, the Sandy Creek boys earned a first round bye. They were set to take the court Friday night against Cartersville with a spot in the region title game to follow the girls game.
Four teams saw their seasons end in round one.
The McIntosh boys entered tourney play as a three seed but were stunned by Griffin in a 56-54 loss Wednesday. Cole Guenther posted 22 points and 10 rebounds in the game.
The Starr’s Mill girls were edged out by Morrow 39-38.
The Whitewater boys were knocked out by Riverdale 69-44.
The Lady Wildcats were eliminated Tuesday with a 50-28 loss to McIntosh.

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About

Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.


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