Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

February 26, 2014

Southland Lady Raiders take second place in region tournament

ALBANY — The Southland Academy Lady Raiders knew that they could play with anyone in the region, and they proved it over the weekend in the Region 3-AAA Tournament at Darton College in Albany. After upsetting the number two seed, Tiftarea, on Friday night, the Lady Raiders narrowly missed the region title by losing an early lead to top-seeded Deerfield-Windsor on Saturday evening.

In two contests against Tiftarea earlier this season, Southland came up just short both times. Despite bringing an 0-2 record against the Lady Panthers into the semifinal game, the Lady Raiders knew that they had the ability to knock off the home team in the tournament opener.

Southland and Tiftarea traded baskets throughout the first period, leading to an 11-11 tie at the end of the quarter. The Lady Raiders used a strong 11-5 run in the second quarter to take a 22-16 lead into the halftime break with a lot of momentum.

“We had a little lead going into the half and we knew what they would be doing when they came out,” said Head Coach Paula McDonald. “We tried to get the kids ready for a dog fight when they returned from the locker room.”

That preparation helped the Lady Raiders withstand a comeback attempt by the Lady Panthers, and despite being outscored 13-8 in the third period they were still able to hold onto a 30-29 advantage going into the final frame.

The fourth quarter continued to be a dogfight, but once again the Lady Raiders held strong, and at the end of the game their punched their ticket to the championship contest with a 39-37 victory.

“Coach Kinslow and I saw a new side of the kids that we have not seen up to this point,” McDonald said. “They fought hard and fended off the Lady Panthers to win a berth to our first Region Final game in my tenure.”

Southland was led to the championship by senior Mary Melissa Roland, who paced the Lady Raiders with 11 points and nine rebounds. Ella Hawkins added 10 points and three steals, and senior Dallas NeSmith had eight points.

In the championship game on Saturday, Southland met a familiar foe in arch rival Deerfield-Windsor. Despite their lack of experience in championship games, the Lady Raiders came out like a pack of veterans in the first period to claim an early eight-point advantage.

McDonald’s squad hit nearly all of their shots in the first quarter to outscore the Lady Knights 20-12. The lead quickly disappeared in the second quarter, however, as Deerfield-Windsor fought back to the contest 24-24 going into the halftime break.

The third period proved to be the pivotal eight minutes of the championship battle. The Lady Knights were able to outscore Southland 13-9 to claim their first led of the night in the late moments of the game. Although Southland fought back in the fourth quarter, the Lady Knights were able to keep their lead intact and win the title with a 43-37 victory.

Hawkins scored 11 points in the championship contest and Roland and Hannah McCain also added six points and 10 rebounds combined.

Although Southland did not get the championship that they wanted, their strong run in the region tournament still gave them a big boost going into the state playoffs today. The No. 2 seed Lady Raiders will take on No. 3 seed Westminster of Augusta at 4 p.m. today at Tattnall Square Academy in Macon. If the Lady Raiders win, they will play on Friday at a time and place to be announced.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Souhtland XC State Champs web.jpg Three Southland coaches receive Coach of the Year honors

    Last year Southland Academy’s athletic program soared to new heights. Two state championships, several region championships, and many trips deep into the state playoffs marked a banner year for several Raider teams. Recently, three of Southland’s coaches were recognized by the GISA for their hard work and dedication to lead their programs to the state title.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Americus Travelers finish in top 3 at USSSA World Series

    The Americus Travelers 14U Baseball Club, after a stellar season on the baseball diamond, again peaked at the right time; finishing as the number three team at the USSSA Global Sports Baseball World Series in Orange Beach, Ala. last week. Coach Tim Estes’ squad entered the event with a record of 23–9 -1 on the season, and there were 35 teams from eight states competing for the title of World Series Champion.

    July 18, 2014

  • SAR football help flags.jpg Raiders lend a hand at Andersonville NHS

    The Avenue of Flags flies in Andersonville National Historic Site five times per year during days of special significance. Following the end of the Independence Day holiday, the Southland Academy football team took a break from their summer workouts to help take down the 200+ flags on Monday, July 7.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Frey_Conyers_Balleur-7-14.jpg SGTC names new athletic director and assistant basketball coaches

    South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets head basketball coach James Frey has been named Athletic Director for the college effective July 1, 2014, announced South Georgia Technical College President Sparky Reeves. Frey will continue to serve as the Lady Jets head basketball coach, as well as work as a Recreation and Leisure Management instructor. Reeves also announced that Kezia Conyers and Chris Ballauer have been hired as full-time instructors and assistant basketball coaches for the Lady Jets and Jets.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8U Champs.jpg Recreation all-star teams perform well in district tournaments, two qualify for state

    The Sumter County Parks and Recreation Department (SCPRD) has one of the strongest youth baseball programs in the state, and they will have a chance to prove it in the upcoming Georgia Recreation and Park Association (GRPA) state tournaments beginning on July 9.

    July 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • SCPRD Softball allstars.jpg SCPRD sees great success in first year of youth softball league

    The Sumter County Parks and Recreation Department (SCPRD) hosted a youth softball division for the first time this year, and according to SCPRD executive director Tim Estes, it was a roaring success.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Josh Willis Sholarship receip 14.jpg Eight Panthers awarded Josh Willis Memorial Scholarships

    Last Friday, eight Americus-Sumter senior student athletes received scholarships in honor for former Americus-Sumter and University of Georgia standout football player Josh Willis. The memorial scholarships will help each of the student-athletes achieve their dream of attending college to further their education.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snow SOCC picture.jpg Georgia Southwestern’s Snow pegged as profession's next generation through NSCAA 30 Under 30 Program

    Georgia Southwestern head women's soccer coach Samantha Snow is one of only 15 female soccer coaches in the country selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) to participate in the organization's 30 Under 30 program.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Post-Epping - Star Racing - Chaz Kennedy.jpg Star Racing looking for win lights at Chicago race

    The Star Racing team began their three-race back-to-back stretch in the 2014 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Series this past weekend June 20-22 at the 2nd Annual Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • EWard.jpg GSW softball adds nine to 2015 roster

    Georgia Southwestern head softball coach Eddie Ward has announced his 2014 recruiting class. The Lady Hurricanes will add nine new faces to their roster for the 2015 season. The list of signees includes seven true freshmen and two players with previous collegiate softball experience.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
More
Weather Radar