June 15, 2021

Strong finish and a lucky coin flips girls Region 5-AA tourney back to Franklin

The 2020-2021 Lady Braves (L-R): Sophia Long, Briana Labaff, Hermonie Garza, Natalie Schneider, Carmaya Swint, Jayden Boykin, Mykhia Echols, Callie Senn, Shyann Kelley, Zekylah Boyd, Jasmine Owens, J’Money Lewis, Karleigh Smith, and Camille Gaskins (Photo: Ty Freeman Photography/Heard County Lady Braves Basketball on Facebook)

(Franklin, GA) — After falling to Callaway nine days ago, the Lady Braves still had hopes of hosting the Region 5-AA Women’s Basketball tournament but they needed three straight wins and the luck of a coin flip to make it happen.

They were able to complete all four tasks with head Coach Helen Akins calling the toss correctly Sunday afternoon and as a result the Region Championship will take place in Franklin this week.

The coin flip was used as the tiebreaker after both Heard and Callaway finished the regular season with identical 7-1 Region 5-AA records.

The Lady Braves will host either Bremen or Temple Wednesday night at 8:00 PM at Heard High. Temple will host Bremen Tuesday night in the 4/5 play in game with the loser being eliminated from the state playoffs.

In Wednesday’s other region semifinal, Callaway will face off with Haralson County.

The two semi winners will meet Friday night at 8:00 PM at HCHS to determine not only the region championship, but also the region’s very important No. 1 seed in the upcoming GHSA Class AA State Playoffs beginning February 23-24.

The losers of the two semis will also meet Friday at 6:00 PM at HCHS to determine the region’s No. 3 seed.

The Lady Braves (18-4) won Friday night’s regular season finale at home versus Haralson County — defeating the Rebels handily 64-39 in the last tune-up prior to the postseason.

Freshman Jayden Boykin led the game in scoring with 17 and not far behind were junior Zekylah Boyd with 13 and sophomore Jasmine Owens with 12.

Senior leader Sophia Long led the team with seven assists and had eight points and five rebounds to go along with her five steals. Hermonie Garza had six points and five rebounds.

Boyd also played well defensively with six steals while hauling in a game high nine rebounds. Mykhia Echols played some more quality minutes off the bench and scored six.

The Lady Braves put together one of the best regular seasons in modern Lady Brave history with the Callaway loss being the team’s lone loss to a Georgia school. The other three losses all came to quality teams from Alabama one of which (Spring Garden) is currently a No. 1 ranked team in Alabama.

Region seedings for the state tourney are especially important in 2021 as Region 5-AA matches up versus a very strong group of Region 8-AA women’s squads in the first round including AA’s No. 1 ranked Elbert County (20-2) and No. 3 ranked Rabun County (18-5).

If the Lady Braves defeat Bremen/Temple Wednesday night they would be guaranteed to host a first round state playoff game. The winner of Friday night’s title game will earn home court for at least two rounds at state and likely face a much easier road to the quarterfinals as opposed to the region’s No. 2 seed.

For more updates and information on Lady Braves basketball visit Heard County Lady Braves on Facebook.

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