COCHRAN -- Weather problems right before the most recent Northeast-Crawford County game led to canceled practice.
And Crawford County eked out a win at Northeast.
This time, there was practice, and the result was much different.
Northeast got off to a superb start and pretty much stayed on that level in rolling past Crawford County 76-48 on Monday night in a GHSA Region 4-AA boys semifinal.
The storm, Northeast head coach Kevin Grooms said, recalling the postgame chat after the 52-49 loss on Jan. 31. We didnt have time for any practice. I know when we practice, were a better team.
The Raiders sure went out to prove it against the Eagles, who spent all night trying to dig out of a hole with little success.
They came out to play and we just didnt have it, Crawford County head coach Clyde Zachery It was one of those nights where you hope it doesnt happen, but it did. Were going to have to regroup.
Northeast improved to 19-8 while Crawford County, which swept the regular-season series, fell to 18-6.
Santez Kinder topped Northeast with 20, while Wycolvia Early chipped in 15 and JaRodney Sanders 12.
Quay Wiggins led Crawford County with 11 and Monkeize Moore added 10.
The Raiders had a double-digit lead in the first quarter, leading 22-13 after one. And they kept pouring it on, never letting the Eagles get any momentum.
The effort, Grooms said of what pleased him the most. The last two times we played Crawford County, we let them control the game. We couldnt let them control the game.
I reminded the kids of the 5 a.m. practice. Aint nobody doing 5 a.m. practices. They sacrificed.
Northeast will play Putnam County in the championship. Putnam County beat Macon County 89-63.
In the girls action, Taylor County overcame a double-digit second half deficit to beat host Bleckley County 53-52 and advance to Tuesday nights championship game. Taylor County will face Putnam County while Bleckley County takes on Monticello in the consolation. Putnam County beat Monticello 49-45.
Bleckley County watched its double-digit halftime lead decrease and decrease throughout the second half, and Taylor County watched opportunities keep presenting themselves.
The Taylor County comeback was capped on Rasheeka Simmons driving layup with 1:40 left, giving the Vikings a 49-47 lead, their first advantage since the 4:54 mark of the first quarter.
Iesha Gainey tied it 26 seconds later when she heaved a 15-footer off the glass, caught the clean rebound and scored but missed the accompanying free throw.
Taylor Countys Briana Gibson tipped a pass for the steal and Simmons scored to give the Vikings a 51-49 lead with 47 seconds left. A trap on the baseline forced another Bleckley County turnover, and Troutman called time with 26 seconds left while Manning yelled at her team to foul.
Mickeel Greene made two free throws with 24.9 seconds left for a four-point lead. Bleckley Countys Alexis Woodfaulk hit a 3 in the final two seconds.
Our youth was the biggest thing we were concerned about, Troutman said. We thought we had a pretty good game plan. It was just a matter of our young people carrying it out.
We were just hoping we could keep the ballgame close and see what happened at the end in the final minutes. Well, we didnt keep it close for a while.