September 21, 2017

Playoff Preview: Decatur Lady Bulldogs @ Heard Co. Lady Braves

The Lady Braves will face a tough challenge Friday night when they play host to Queen Alford and the Decatur Bulldogs in the first round of the GHSA State Basketball Playoffs.

Alford, a 5-foot-8-inch senior guard that has already committed to Jacksonville University in Florida, was named as the Region 6-AA Player of the Year last week. This is an impressive accomplishment in a strong region which includes the 3-time defending state champion Buford Wolves.

Bulldog junior Jordan Dillard was also named to the all-region squad. The Bulldogs are the number four seed from region six after losing to GAC whom they had defeated twice earlier in the regular season.

“Queen Alford is one of those players you build your program around. She always gives one hundred percent and she is always working to improve. We have had a good year and hopefully the tough opponents we have faced all year in our region has prepared us well.” Decatur Head Coach Bill Roberts.

Second year Lady Braves coach Valeree Williams will counter Alford with a region MVP of her own in senior center Aaliyah Rutledge, who is coming off her finest varsity season and has emerged in recent weeks as the focus of the inside attack at both ends of the floor.

The 6-foot center has provided a dominate inside presence and balance for Williams on a team that features mostly small scoring guards.

The tandem of guards Reece Walker (1st team all-region) and Jemeka Parks (2nd team all-region) have led the Brave’s scoring sheets for most of the season, but the consistent play of  Shemeka Parks and Jasmine Cook (2nd team all-region) has been equally as important.

Cook offers a rare combination of power and ball handling skills that might very well be the key to the match-up with the Bulldogs.

The winner of the game will advance to play the winner of the Rabun County/Calhoun game which will also be played Friday. If the Lady Braves win they would be at home for that meeting which would take place next Tuesday night.

 

Decatur Lady Bulldogs  @ Heard Co. Lady Braves 

 

WHEN: Friday Night (6:30 tip)

WHERE: Heard High School Gym, 545 Main Street

RECORDS: Bulldogs (22-6, 6-2 in Region 6-AA), Braves (22-3, 9-1 in Region 5-AA)

COACHES: Bulldogs – Bill Roberts (2nd season), Braves – Valeree Williams (2nd season)

SEEDINGS: The Bulldogs come in as the Region 6-AA #4 seed after dropping region tournament games to Lovett (33-41) and GAC (39-46) – The Braves come in as the 5-AA #1 seed after defeating Kendrick (72-57) and Jordan (77-36)

RANKINGS: Bulldogs (#9 – Coaches Poll, #10 – AJC poll), Braves (NR – Coaches Poll, #9 – AJC Poll)

AVERAGE SCORING MARGIN: Bulldogs 60 -33, Braves 57 -41

COLORS: Bulldogs (Blue/Old Gold), Braves (Maroon/Gray)

SENIORS: Bulldogs 3, Braves 1

ADMISSION: $7

 

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