The second round tipped off tonight for much of the teams left on the girls side, while Class A started its tournament. See below for our recaps of the metro Atlanta teams.
Cherokee 65, North Forsyth 53: Kiana Howell scored with less than a second left in regulation to force overtime for Cherokee. Nisha Williams took over from there, scoring 15 pints in the two overtime periods for the host Warriors. Howell finished with 18 points and Williams led all scorers with 29. Caroline Bowns had 23 for North Forsyth, while first-round hero Lochlain Corliss was held to seven points.
North Gwinnett 66, Archer 42: The host Bulldogs used a 9-0 run late in the second quarter to put a relatively close game out of reach at intermission. North Gwinnett drilled eight 3-pointers in the first half. Lexie Brown finished with 23 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals to pace North Gwinnett. Joshlyn Belcher scored 17 points with four rebounds and Peyton Whitted filled the stat sheet with 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Southwest DeKalb 68, Villa Rica 37: The Panthers outscored visiting Villa Rica 17-7 in the second quarter to help take a 33-17 halftime lead. Sophomore forward Nicole Martin led the Panthers with 29 points and 15 rebounds, while senior guard Miaya Crowder scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Senior Britany Wright scored 19 points and had nine rebounds for Villa Rica, which struggled with Southwest DeKalb’s pressure defense.
Stephenson 59, Lithia Springs 55: Stephenson picked up a second straight road victory to open the playoffs, knocking off Region 5-AAAAA No. 3 Lithia Springs 59-55. Senior co-captain Kaliyah Mitchell scored 21 points for Stephenson, while Lithia Springs was paced by Tashara Jones’ 22 points.
Tucker 53, Salem 42: Visiting Tucker earned its second straight road win of the playoffs. Junior Nuba Jackson had 16 points and Erykah Davenport had 14. The Tigers built their lead early by claiming a 15-5 lead after the first quarter, but Salem got back in it and trailed just 23-20 at the half. Tucker then outscored Salem 12-6 in the third. Ayanna Mitchell led Salem with 19 points.
Woodland-Henry 60, Cross Creek 55: Woodland-Henry went on the road to hand Cross Creek its first loss of the season. Morgan Jones scored 10 in the first half for Woodland-Henry, which saw a 16-9 first quarter lead disappear before intermission. Cross Creek could not hold the 25-24 lead as Woodland-Henry took a 42-39 lead into the fourth before Lindsey Reed helped finish off Cross Creek. Reed finished with 18 points while Cross Creek’s Naomi Wilds led all scorers with 19 points.
Buford 59, Elbert County 25: It took an 8-7 lead from visiting Elbert County before the Wolves exploded. They closed out the first quarter on a 15-0 run which was part of a 22-1 explosion. MacKenzie Darrah and Maya Dillard combined for 12 steals in the first half which helped Buford go into the half with a comfortable 37-14 lead. Darrah had 13 points and Buford teammate Kristina Nelson added 10 points in the victory.
Decatur 57, Sonoraville 50: Senior forward Jordan Dillard scored 34 points, nearly double her 18.1 points per game average, while freshman forward Kayla Thomas chipped in 11 points to help visiting Decatur knock off the Region 5-AAA tournament champions.
St. Pius 55, Oconee County 35: A 14-4 run in the second quarter that was keyed by three consecutive 3-pointers helped host St. Pius gain a decisive 36-19 halftime edge. The Golden Lions led by seven after one period. Sophomore guard Asia Durr led St. Pius with 25 and junior guard Jasmine Carter added 17. The teams combined to shoot just three free throws.
Southwest-Macon 63, Douglass 49: Southwest-Macon led Douglass 36-23 at halftime before pulling away at home in the fourth quarter. Southwest-Macon’s SheKenya Peters was 7-for-11 from the field in the first half for 14 points while the defense limited Douglass to just 7-for-25 from the field. Aubria Gresham scored 11 points to keep Douglass in the game.
Kendrick 61, Greater Atlanta Christian 59: In a back-and-forth game, the teams traded leads throughout as each took turns leading at the end of each quarter. Junior Brianna Cummings led the visiting Spartans with 26 points and 16 rebounds, while Cosette Mahre added 12 points and six rebounds for Greater Atlanta Christian. The Spartans were hampered by 21 turnovers.
Lovett 55, Rabun County 37: The Lovett Lions only received six points from standout senior Sydney Umeri, but the rest of the team picked up the slack to knock off Rabun County. Te’erica Eason led visiting Lovett with 22 points while junior Julia Selman connected on four of six from 3-point range and finished with 14 points. Lovett led 30-16 at the half.
Wesleyan 75, Bremen 27: Host Wesleyan jumped out to a 51-8 halftime lead over Bremen then cruised to the victory behind 31 points, eight rebounds and four assists from senior Katie Frerking. The future Auburn Tiger notched career point No. 1,000 in the victory in just her third season of basketball. Fellow senior Kendra Talley finished with 10 points while Paige Mosley finished with nine points. Brittany Stevens filled the stat sheet with four points, seven rebounds and nine assists.
Holy Innocents’ 64, Hebron Christian 40: Host Holy Innocents’ did not trail all game and was ahead 18-8 after one period. Senior Reshaundra Owens scored 23 points to lead the Golden Bears. Sophomore phenom Amber Skldael scored a game-high 25 points for Hebron Christian.
Pace Academy 35, Paideia 28: In the fourth game between the two Atlanta private schools this season, Pace Academy put the clamps on Paideia. The visiting Knights led 16-6 at the half after Paideia senior center Lucy Coxe left injured early in the first quarter. The Pythons were held to 5-for-41 shooting for the game. Hannah Ferry led Pace with 13 points and Ellery Koelker-Wolfe led Paideia with 13 as well.
St. Francis 67, Strong Rock Christian 13: St. Francis raced to a 47-9 halftime lead then allowed just four points in the second half. Host St. Francis outscored Strong Rock 14-2 in the third quarter before cruising to a 6-2 advantage in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Abby Grant led St. Francis with 18 points while senior Netty Brown chipped in 14.