As the school’s girls team aims today for its third straight state playoff berth, the boys clinched their first with Tuesday’s win. It also gave the Knights (12-14) a new team record for wins in a season.
River Ridge jumped to a 13-2 first-quarter lead by playing the full-court press, and Heritage didn’t get on the board until late in the frame.
Steven Spears went on to lead River Ridge with 18 points, and Jon Karlin had 15.
The Knights will play either Northwest Whitfield or Pickens in Friday’s semifinal.
Woodstock 73, Milton 41: The Lady Wolverines led by just four at the break, but they pulled away in the second half to advance to the semifinals of the Region 5AAAAAA tournament at Roswell.
Having clinched a state playoff berth, Woodstock (20-6) will face either Walton or Wheeler in Friday’s 7 p.m. semifinal.
“It was a very slow start for us,” said Woodstock coach Julie Crowe, whose team led 29-25 at halftime. “We kicked it up and (Milton) only scored six in the third due to our defensive pressure in the full court.”
Clara Young led the Lady Wolverines with 28 points, including six 3-pointers. She was 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and added three assists and two steals.
“When we started the pressure, (Young) got some good looks in the open court,” Crowe said. “She was able to get some 3s off.”
Makensie Block added eight points and three assists. Brianna Lakes, who was in foul trouble early, shot 100 percent from the floor and went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line to finish the game with 10 points.
Whitnie Carter came off the bench to score nine points and grad five rebounds.
“(Carter) gave us a huge spark off the bench,” Crowe said.
Osborne 43, Sequoyah 40: The Lady Chiefs’ season came to a close in the quarterfinal round of the Region 7AAAAA tournament at Sprayberry.
Sequoyah (11-16) trailed by five at the break 23-18, but it closed the gap in the second half. It had possession of the ball with a chance to tie the game, but turned the ball over just before time expired.
“It was an up-tempo game,” Sequoyah coach Derrick DeWitt said. “Osborne pressed and we used our press-breaker against them.”
Sequoyah attacked the middle of the Osborne defense with its offense. Meanwhile, the Lady Chiefs’ defense forced 22 turnovers.
“If you have to go out, you have to go out fighting,” DeWitt said. “We had it right there within our grasp. Osborne has some tremendous ball-handlers, but we put ourselves right there in position to tie the game up and go into overtime, but it didn’t go that way. Miscommunication led to a bad pass and a turnover, and that was the ballgame.”
Emily Ryan led Sequoyah with 18 points, going 4-of-5 on 3-point attempts. Maggie Hartman added six points.
DeWitt said he was pleased with the amount of progress the team made this season, and he expects it to return even stronger in the fall.
“We have improved our IQ in the game,” he said. “That is going to carry into next year because the girls feel so much more confident in their abilities. They trust each other more. I think we will be able to grow and show lots of improvement.”
The Lady Chiefs graduate just one starter, Hartman, who recently signed with Harvard.