The Winder-Barrow High School Lady Bulldoggs' magical basketball season will continue Saturday in the Class AAAAA Final Four.
WBHS (25-6) ventures back to Columbus Saturday for a 3 p.m. semifinal matchup with Brunswick High School. At stake is an appearance in the state championship game on March 4 in Macon.
The Lady Bulldoggs defeated Mays High School 51-46 on Thursday in another game played at Columbus State University. Latrice Perkins scored 18 points in the Elite Eight victory while Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Chellia Watson both scored 11. Mays High School relied heavily on Kamiyah Street, who finished with 27 points, including 18 of her team's 22 first half total.
Brunswick advanced to the semifinals by defeating Region 8-AAAAA champion Flowery Branch 52-47. The Lady Pirates improved to 30-2 overall and handed the Lady Falcons just their second loss of 2015-2016. Brunswick is on a 12-game winning streak dating back to the regular season.
The Winder-Barrow High School Lady Bulldoggs have done it again, defeating Mays High School 51-46 in the Class AAAAA state quarterfinals in Columbus. Thursday afternoon's win puts WBHS in the Final Four, which will also be at Columbus State University this weekend.
Termed "Cinderella" earlier this week by the state's largest newspaper, something the Lady Bulldogg players and coaches found amusing, the WBHS team moves on after a strong performance Thursday. Trailing 22-19 at halftime, the Lady Bulldoggs (25-6) turned the pressure on both ends of the court in the second half. A 10-3 run to close out the third quarter gave Winder-Barrow a slim 34-33 advantage after the third quarter.
Mays (22-8) would regain the lead in the fourth quarter at 35-34, but a basket by Latrice Perkins with 6:53 remaining gave the WBHS Lady Bulldoggs a lead they would not give up again. Mays would pull to within 42-41 following a free throw with 4:12 left but baskets by Chellia Watson and Perkins and a free throw by Olivia Nelson-Ododa gave coach Brandon Thomas' team a 47-43 lead with 1:49 to play.
Nelson-Ododa added another basket for a six-point lead but Mays stayed alive with a 3-point play with 55 seconds left. Two free throws by Watson with 16 seconds remaining sealed the victory, however, for WBHS.
Mays held an eight-point lead in the third quarter before the Lady Bulldoggs began their rally on baskets by Nelson-Ododa and Lexi Maddox and a steal and conversion by Perkins. With 2:15 left in the third, Perkins tied the game at 30-30 on a steal and layup. The lead went back to WBHS at 32-30 after a basket by Watson and increased to 34-30 on a putback by Maddox.
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Baseball has helped put Bethlehem Christian Academy athletics on the map.
The Diamond Knights won the GISA Class A state title in 2013 and 2014 and despite moving up to Class AAA last season, BCA still managed to advance to the semifinals before falling in a three-game series.
The 2016 season, which begins Monday at two-time defending Class AA champion Piedmont Academy, sees the Knights with a new head coach. Matt Nicks is now directing the program after previously working as an assistant. He takes over for Colby May who is now a graduate assistant at Valdosta State University.
“It has been a smooth transition,” Nicks said. “Coach May and I have the same approach so very little has changed. I may be a little more laid back than he was but I don’t think the kids have missed a beat.”
The team will have to replace a talented senior class from 2015 as standouts P.J. Klein, Jacob Fincher and Luke Allen all graduated. Several key players do return, however, giving BCA a solid foundation to make another postseason run.
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The Los Angeles Lakers are more of a traveling circus then an NBA franchise these days. They travel from city to city and play basketball, but rarely compete. If anything these games are in place to bid farewell to the great Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, who is at the tender age of 37, is in his last season as an NBA player. He has had a storied career with the Lakers, winning five NBA Championships and a host of other awards and honors. But sadly that is coming to its end.
Fortunately for him, he has managed to stay healthy so far this season. Which is saying a lot since he has spent more time hurt the last few seasons than he has been on the court.
But nonetheless, Kobe is playing in his last season and is making the most of it on every road trip. He is certainly loved for the Lakers home games in the Staples Center — where there is sure to be a huge extravaganza for his last home game — but he is also being greeted pleasantly wherever the Lakers travel to.
It’s very similar to the way fans treated Derek Jeter all across the country during Jeter’s last season with the Yankees. Everywhere the Lakers go, the road fans give Kobe a standing ovation. Granted, it is a whole lot easier to do so when the Lakers are cruising with their 11-46 record, but that’s beside the point.
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There are eight teams whose basketball season is still alive when it comes to varsity girls action in Class AAAAA of the Georgia High School Association.
Winder-Barrow High School is one of them.
The magical 2015-2016 season is still alive and well for coach Brandon Thomas and his Lady Bulldoggs after a 49-43 victory against Carver-Columbus High School last week. That win has helped spark as much enthusiasm from the community for this program in, well, maybe forever.
This group of players has proven many observers wrong with their on-the-court success. Many wondered if the team would really be a contender for the postseason. After all, it had been many moons since WBHS has reached the girls state basketball tournament.
However, coach Brandon Thomas, who guides the team with a quiet display of leadership, has certainly done an outstanding job of leading this year’s team to the heights it has reached.
Strong performances from several players have, of course, also been key. Few teams can match up with the height of sophomore Olivia Nelson-Ododa. The skill of players such as Latrice Perkins, Tiera Mayweather, Lexi Maddox, Chellia Watson, to name only a few, has made the Lady Bulldoggs a tough
opponent to handle this season.
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It will be the second trek to Columbus within a week’s span, but the players and coaches for the Winder-Barrow High School Lady Bulldoggs basketball team certainly don’t mind.
WBHS is set for an appearance in the GHSA Class AAAAA Elite Eight after dispatching of Carver-Columbus 49-43 last week. While that win was in the home gym of Carver-Columbus High School, this Thursday the Lady Bulldoggs will compete at Columbus State University as a 3 p.m. showdown with Mays High School looms.
It’s already been quite a season for Winder-Barrow, breaking a state tournament drought which dated back more than two decades. Competing in Region 8-AAAAA, which has three teams in the Elite Eight, helped prepare the Lady Bulldoggs for the state tournament challenge.
“It’s a testament to the talent in our region,” coach Brandon Thomas said. “Playing several quality teams helped prepare us for state. We just hope to keep it going at this point.”
The Mays High School Lady Raiders are led by several quality players including Kamiyah Street, who scored 47 points in a Sweet Sixteen game against Grovetown.
“They like to play up-tempo and pressure you, just like our last opponent,” Thomas said. “They want to play fast and get the basketball to their top scorer.” [Full Story »]
The Apalachee High School girls track team took first in a tri-meet last Thursday at W. Clair Harris Stadium competing against Winder-Barrow High School and Gainesville High School.
AHS compiled 79 points to win somewhat comfortably while WBHS edged Gainesville for second place 48.5 to 44.5.
Analee Bradach, who earlier in the week signed to run cross country and track for Piedmont College, won the 1,600-meter run for the Lady Wildcats in 5:51.45 and the 800-meter run in 2:38.72.
Julia Graham won the 100-meter hurdles (16.70) and the 300-meter hurdles (50.71).
Graham was also part of the 4x100-meter relay team with Brooke Hardegree, Logan Leverette and Bri Robinson which earned first in 53.69. She also teamed with Bradach, Tahlia Ferguson and Destiny Gibbs to win the 4x400-meter relay in 4:35.20.
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The East Jackson boys’ basketball team closed out its best season in program history on Saturday as the Eagles were eliminated from the state tournament in a Sweet 16 loss to Cedar Grove.
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