The Central Chargers and Southwest Patriots are both headed to the GHSA Class AAA playoffs after victories in the Region 2-AAA tournament hosted by Peach County on Friday night.
The fifth-seeded Chargers beat fourth-seeded Carver-Columbus 66-50, while No. 3 Southwest earned a 69-54 win over No. 6 Henry County.
Central surrendered a Carver basket on its opening possession but took over the game immediately with a 20-0 run until the Tigers finally scored again at the buzzer to end the first quarter.
This feels great, Central head coach Sheila Toombs said. This group of young ladies have worked really hard.
Carver cut the Central lead to single digits in the third quarter, but the Chargers put the game away with 10 unanswered points to end the frame.
Tara Crawford led Central with 19 points, while post player Jarfaith Jones added 15. Central faces face top-seeded Peach County on Saturday for a place in the final. The Chargers defeated the Trojans 69-57 on Jan. 7 and have won four games in a row.
Weve got a lot of (confidence), Toombs said. When we beat (Peach County), I really felt that our confidence went up another notch. They really focused and really started to believe that we can do some things.
Southwest played a much tighter game with Henry County but dominated the fourth quarter as it built a double-digit lead with five minutes remaining. The Patriots led by five at the half and just three at the end of the third quarter.
We went to a fullcourt press, and we were able to get some steals, Southwest head coach Willie Goolsby said. We gave them a different look than what theyve seen us do this year, and I think that was the difference.
Four Patriots ended the game in double figures, led by 17 from senior NyAsia Holmes. Henry County point guard Taylor Cistrunk paced all scorers with 31.
Southwest faces second-seeded Pike County, which dominated Jackson from the opening tip on its way to a 62-26 win. The Patriots lost both regular-season matchups to the Pirates by a total of just seven points.
It feels good, Goolsby said. This is what you always shoot for is to get back to the big dance, and weve reached that goal so now we have to play for seeds and play to win this thing.