December 8, 2021

Lady Braves top Spencer 51-20 to close out regular season

(Franklin, GA) — The Lady Braves closed out the regular season with a 51-20 win over the Spencer Greenwave at Heard High Friday night and now begin preparations for the postseason Region 5-AA tournament next week.

A team effort keyed Friday night’s win with nice scoring nights from several Lady Braves. Leading the way were Sophia Long with 12 points, Haley Bennett with 10, Hermonie Garza with nine, Tori Caldwell with eight, and Morgan Kay with six.

Morgan Kay (#10) and Sophia Long (#23) (Photo: Jeff Napier)

The Lady Braves dominated throughout the contest leading 30-8 at the half and eight different players scored at least a bucket.

It was a nice bounce-back win for Coach Helen Akins’ squad following a close 42-37 home loss to Temple Wednesday night.

“We really needed tonight for some momentum heading into the tournament,” said Akins after the game.

“I was super proud of our effort — we passed the ball well, we shot the ball well and we got everyone into the game which always makes for a good night.”

Tori Caldwell had 10 points to lead the way in Wednesday’s loss as the Lady Braves faced the Tigers for the third time this season.

The Lady Braves won the first non-region match-up 43-38 in overtime at the Haralson County Christmas Tourney but dropped the both region tilts.

The girls will get another opportunity versus the same Tigers however as they draw the No. 5 seed and will face the No. 4 seeded Tigers to open the Region 5-AA tourney Tuesday afternoon (4:00 PM) at Bremen High School.

Akins says mental preparation will be key as the team needs a win Tuesday to avoid missing the state playoffs for the first time since 2013-2014.

“We just have to go out there and do what we are supposed to do we haven’t played a good game against them this year even when we beat them in the Christmas Tournament we did not play that well,” added Akins.

“We have to go out there mentally prepared and keep these girls loose and I think tonight’s win will help us get prepared we just want to survive and advance at this point.”

The top four teams coming out of the Region 5-AA tourney will advance to the GHSA Class AA State Playoffs beginning February 15-16.

As the top two seeds, Lamar County and Callaway have earned spots in the semifinals and will be state bound regardless of the tourney outcome.

With a win over the Temple, the Lady Braves would earn a state playoff appearance and advance to meet top-seeded Lamar County in the region semifinals Thursday at 7:00 PM at Lamar County High School.

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