The Lady Blue Devils attacked inside and built a five-point first quarter lead that held throughout the rest of the game before securing a 56-46 victory in the quarterfinals of the Region 4AAAAAA tournament at McEachern High School.
Asia Blu Wilson and Jacky Jones did most of the scoring for Marietta, which secured an automatic playoff berth for Marietta and will be facing top-seeded McEachern in the semifinals today. Wilson led the way with 20 points while Jones tacked on 14.
“I thought we had an advantage inside with our quickness,” Marietta coach Ken Sprague, Jr. said. “Jacky was a little quick than whoever (Harrison) had in the inside. We got away from the quick layups for a while but we did what we needed to do.”
All seven of the Lady Hoyas’ first quarter points came on the foul line and they didn’t make their first field goal until Raichel Tringali connected on a 3-point attempt nearly 2 minutes into the second quarter.
Harrison trailed 20-12 with 2:30 remaining in the second quarter before it finally made a run. The Lady Hoyas scored the last seven points of the first half, capped by a Sydne Wiggins layup to pull within 20-19.
That would be as close as Harrison would get.
Kayla Wilson’s 3-pointer that opened the fourth put Marietta ahead by 12.
Wiggins had 16 points to lead the Lady Hoyas and Kaylyn Brooks finished with 11.
— By Adam Carrington
North Cobb 75, Campbell 63: Kyrie’ Chandler scored 24 points and Aniyah Corley added 23 to lead No. 6 seed North Cobb to an upset over No. 3 Campbell in the Region 4AAAAAA quarterfinals.
Nearly half of North Cobb’s points came on the free throw line. The Lady Warriors made 36-of-53 free throws, and 14 of Chandler’s points came at the stripe. Chantel Strahorn went 7-of-10, and ended up with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
We had a great walk-through (Monday),” North Cobb coach John Speeney said. “The bus ride was quiet. The girls seemed focused and we knew good things were going to happen.”
The win puts the Lady Warriors (19-8) back into the Class AAAAAA state tournament after making a semifinal run last season and they will face Hillgrove today in the region semifinals.
Campbell finished the year with a 17-6 record.
The Lady Spartans had the lead briefly in the second quarter when Ayshia Joyner made two free throws for a 22-21 lead and it stretched it to three points on a pair of Simone Spencer foul shots. But four straight free throws by Strahorn gave North Cobb its lead back and Campbell played from behind the rest of the way.
Julie McKie had a double-double for Campbell with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Joyner added 12 points for the Lady Spartans and Marisa Hall finished with 10.
— By Adam Carrington
Hillgrove 86, Kennesaw Mountain 52: Hillgrove bucked the day’s upset trend and cruised to a victory over Kennesaw Mountain in the Region 4AAAAAA quarterfinals.
“We came out with good energy and did what we had to do to get a nice lead in the first half,” said Hillgrove coach Susan Milam, who helped lock up the Lady Hawks eighth straight trip to the state playoffs with the win. “We let them back in it for a little bit in the second, but overall I was proud of how we played.”
Playing in the fifth of sixth games on a marathon day of basketball in Powder Springs, the Lady Hawks were the first boy or girl team in the 4AAAAAA tournament to hold serve as the higher seed.
“When it’s region time you know you have to come out and play and not take anything for granted because this region is always so tough, if you don’t come out with some intensity there is a good chance you can get sent home,” she continued.
Hillgrove jumped on top of Kennesaw Mountain early and often, running out to a 21-11 lead at the end of one quarter and a 48-20 margin by halftime. Senior point guard Zarriah Pierce scored 14 of her 19 in the first two quarters while Tene Thompson added 12 of her game-high 27 points in the same half.
Kennesaw Mountain stayed competitive in the third, scoring a quick five points on an Anna Stewart lay-in followed by a Sara Zimmerman three-pointer, making the score 48-23 less than a minute into the second half. The Lady Mustangs eventually whittled the margin down to 64-46 with 5:59 to play in the fourth quarter, but never got within realistic striking distance.
Stewart led Kennesaw Mountain with 15 points, Zimmerman had 11 and Jaylah Carr scored 10.
Mackenzie Engram also notched 15 points for Hillgrove, who will play North Cobb tomorrow at 4:00 in a region semifinal game.
— By Chase Wallace
MDJ Sports Correspondent