July 24, 2021

Lady Braves ranked No. 6 after strong start to season

(Franklin, GA) — The Lady Braves got off to a slow start in Tuesday night’s final non-region road game at Lithia Springs before charging back to defeat the Class 5A Lions by a final score of 57-46.

The Lady Braves scored just eight first half points but came out firing in the third quarter to go on a 22-4 run and take the lead.

Zekylah “Z” Boyd (Photo: Ty Freeman Photography/Heard County Lady Braves Basketball on Facebook)

Junior Zekylah Boyd had a huge statistical night for the Lady Braves as did freshman Jayden Boykin and sophomore Jasmine Owens.

Boyd finished the game with 20 points and eight rebounds. Boykin scored 12 with nine boards and six assists.

Owens was tops in rebounds with 13 and scored nine.

The win pushed the squad’s season record to 11-3 as they head into Region 5-AA play with a home game versus Bremen on Jan. 15 at Heard High.

The strong start earned Coach Helen Akins’ team a No. 6 state ranking in Class AA this week according to Score Atlanta.

The Lady Braves took on some strong out of state competition in the Cleburne County Christmas Tournament last week winning one of the three contests versus Alabama foes.

The lone win at the tourney came versus the hosts Cleburne on Tuesday. Senior Hermonie Garza led the way with 14 points in the 62-34 final.

In a 60-46 loss to Oxford on Wednesday, senior Sophia Long and Boyd each scored 13 to lead the way. Shyann Kelley had a nice effort in Monday’s loss to Spring Garden scoring nine versus a powerhouse Panthers squad that owns multiple Alabama state titles in recent years.

Coach Akins has been pleased with the progress of one of her deepest rotations of players since her arrival at HCHS in 2014.

“I feel like our non-region schedule was been challenging and we had to fight through some adversity,” says Akins. “Sometimes we succeeded and sometimes we came up short but it has made us a better team overall.”

The Lady Braves look to be one of the favorites in Region 5-AA with the toughest opposition likely coming in the form of rival Callaway and new region opponent Haralson County.

The first three region contests will be played at Heard High followed by four straight on the road before the team closes out the regular season schedule versus Haralson at home on February 12.

Region 5-AA squads will meet one another in home and home contests to determine the seedings for the Region Tournament.

In boys hoop action Tuesday night, the Braves fell to 4-6 in a 66-39 loss at Lithia Springs.

The Braves will be back in action this Friday night at home versus Oak Mountain Academy (6:00 PM) before traveling to Holy Innocents Saturday at 2:00 PM.

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