Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

March 1, 2014

Lady Raiders smother Westminster with strong defense in first round victory

MACON — Last week in Albany, the Southland Academy Lady Raiders left the court at Darton College with a second place trophy from the Region 3-AAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. With just four days between the region championship game and the opening round of the Class AAA State Playoffs, the Lady Raiders needed a quick turnaround, and they got it with a crucial five-point win over Westminster at Tattnall Square Academy on Wednesday night.

As the number two seed from Region 3, Southland was paired against the Westminster School Lady Wildcats, who finished as the number three seed in Region 4. The Lady Wildcats brought a good mixture of speed and size into the match-up, but in the early stages of the game the Lady Raiders proved that they were more than prepared for Westminster’s attack.

Senior guard Dallas NeSmith started her team off with a big three-pointer, and from there the Lady Raiders went on to outscore Westminster 11-6 in the opening period.

Southland began to relax some in the second period, however, and by the time the halftime break arrived the Lady Wildcats had stormed back to take a 16-13 lead thanks to a 10-2 run.

The Lady Raiders knew that their defense was capable of slowing the Lady Wildcats’ attack, so the main goal of Coach Paula McDonald at the break was to get her team to settle down. That strategy brought a big return in the third period as Southland stormed back to outscore Westminster 10-6 and take a one point lead into the final frame.

With the game on the line, McDonald gave senior leader Mary Melissa Roland the task of double-teaming Lady Wildcat center Amber Davis to slow down the Westminster post play. The decision to double-team Davis also paid big dividends in the fourth period as the Lady Wildcats middle player was held scoreless, allowing Southland to win the game at the free throw line. From the charity stripe, Ella Hawkins sank five of her seven attempts, and Chris Shattles and Roland also added foul shots to ice the game 35-30 and send the Lady Raiders into the quarterfinals.

“Our kids rotated well and we stayed fresh for the stretch in the fourth quarter,” McDonald said. “Everyone gave 100 percent and we were united in our goal. Eventually, the game was won on the free throw line.”

Hawkins tied for the lead in scoring with 11 points, and she also had four crucial steals. Roland also completed a huge night with a double-double that consisted of 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Matt Corbin.jpg Schley County’s Corbin signs to play football at Point University

    Matt Corbin, a multi-sport standout at Schley County High School, recently signed with Point University in West Point, Ga. to continue his football career at the college level. The 2013 All-Region 4-A first teamer and Americus Times-Recorder All-Area selection plans to help the Skyhawks football team out in multiple positions, just as he did for the Wildcats.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Russ_Emili CTGC.jpg Russ signs with GSW women's basketball

    Georgia Southwestern State University head women's basketball coach Kelly Britsky has announced the addition of Emili Russ to the Lady Hurricane squad for the 2014-15 season.
    Russ signed with the Lady 'Canes after playing last season for Central Georgia Technical College in Macon. She will join the program in the fall with two years of eligibility remaining.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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