Washington County girls fall in title game

jheeter@macon.comMarch 11, 2012 

The poor shooting finally caught up with Washington County.

The Lady Hawks went a combined 3-of-38 from behind the 3-point line in the previous two rounds of the GHSA Class AAA tournament.

The rough shooting, coupled with a bad night on the boards and the loss of their star player to foul trouble for much of the first half, led to the Lady Hawks’ first defeat in more than two years.

Columbia dominated in all facets of the game on the way to a 57-33 defeat of Washington County on Saturday in the Class AAA championship game at the Macon Coliseum. The Eagles’ win snapped the Lady Hawks’ 63-game winning streak.

“This hurts, but you can’t really be too upset with 63-1,” junior Allisha Gray said. “We had a good run, but we had a bad night.”

Kadeejah Vaughn scored 17 points and Miah Spencer added 15 for the Eagles, who won their second state championship in three years. Allisha Gray led Washington County (31-1) with 14 points.

Columbia (23-5) pulled down close to 20 offensive rebounds, putting several back for quick baskets. The Lady Hawks were one and done on most possession, and the poor shooting gave the Eagles plenty of rebounds to contain. Washington County went 13-for-43 from the floor, and it missed 10 of its 14 foul shots.

“It made it so difficult (Saturday night), because we were not hitting those shots,” Washington County head coach Sug Parker said. “We were not hitting the shots that we normally hit, and it put us in a major bind.”

Columbia built up a 19-point second quarter lead while Gray sat on the bench with three fouls. Gray missed the final 5:30 of the first half with the foul trouble. Parker said he thought about inserting Gray back into the game in the second quarter, but he ultimately decided it was too big of a risk.

“You just have to play a lot more timid when you get into foul trouble like that, and you can’t be aggressive,” Gray said. “It was hard sitting on the bench for so long. I felt like I could contribute, but I think they held it together OK.”

Sophomore Demeshia Ford gave the Lady Hawks a little boost with two baskets at the end of the second quarter, but the Eagles hit Washington County with a flurry to close the half with a 17-point lead.

Washington County pulled as close as 12 in the third quarter, but the Lady Hawks didn’t score again until there were 47 seconds to play in the game. They never got into a rhythm with Columbia switching defenses nearly every time down the floor. The Lady Hawks only scored on consecutive possessions four times during the game.

Columbia used a 13-0 run to extend its lead to 27 points before Gray made a 3-pointer with 47 seconds left.

Columbia head coach Chantay Frost said her team’s motto has been “unfinished business” since a loss to Washington County in the semifinals last year.

Washington County had played 72 straight games without scoring fewer than 40 points. The Lady Hawks’ low this season was 57.

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