The FPD Vikings scored nearly as many points in the first quarter as they did the remainder of the game, but it was enough to hold off GMC 37-26 in the first round of the GHSA Region 7A-1A Tournament on Tuesday.
Fueled by 10 points from senior Emma Lako, FPD scored 17 points in the first quarter en route to a 17-9 lead. The Vikings increased their lead to 14 points early in the second quarter, but GMC settled down and cut its deficit to 10, 25-15, at halftime.
The Vikings only scored two field goals in the second half, one of which was a 3-pointer early in the third quarter. GMC utilized an 8-2 run in the third and fourth quarters to cut its deficit to only four, 30-26. But the Bulldogs did not score for the final six minutes as FPD pulled away with seven free throws down the stretch. Lako led all scorers with 14 points. Kennedy-Paige Davis led the Bulldogs with eight points.
Wilkinson County 46, Aquinas 44
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The tournament opened with a bang as Wilkinson County drained a game-winning shot to advance. The game-winner capped an 11-point fourth-quarter comeback for the Warriors.
Freshman Ahnila Owens led the charge, scoring 21 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter. After leading 21-20 at halftime, Aquinas outscored Wilkinson County by 10 in the third quarter as it held the Warriors to only five points.
But that defensive success didn’t transfer to the final quarter. Wilkinson County scored nearly half of its points in the fourth quarter alone — 21 — as it charged back to defeat the third-seeded Aquinas.
Zhakire Simmons and Ladasha Shinholster chipped in 10 and nine points, respectively, on top of Owens’s 21 for the Warriors. Maura Lammers led Aquinas with 17 points, 10 of which came during the Fightin’ Irish’s strong third quarter.
Tattnall takes down one-seeded Hancock 53-42
Tattnall Square 53, Hancock Central 42
The fourth-seeded Trojans used a dominant performance in the first three quarters to defeat the top-seeded Bulldogs.
Led by a trio of players with double-digit points — Allie Gordon with 15, Abby Rouse with 12 and I’Uana Slaughter with 10 — the Trojans had a 16-point lead, 29-13, at halftime after Blair Back banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Tattnall’s lead peaked at 23 points midway through the fourth quarter. And then the Bulldogs’ offense woke up in a big way. Hancock scored more points in the final quarter — 25 — than it did the first three quarters combined -- 17.
Trailing 23, Hancock Central scored 12 straight points to cut its deficit to only nine with more than two minutes remaining. But the Bulldogs’ momentum was halted after an offensive rebound and layup off a missed free throw gave Tattnall a double-digit lead again.
Faith Evans led Hancock Central with 11 points; Johnasje Birston scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter while Haveny Barnes also chipped in nine total points.
Stratford 51, Green County 41
The Stratford Eagles limited Greene County to only one field goal and four points in the fourth quarter en route to a victory.
Junior Carey Woodcock led the Eagles on the offensive side, scoring 19 points, and she was responsible for six of Stratford’s 11 fourth-quarter points.
After a high-scoring first quarter after which the Eagles led 21-13, Stratford took control of the game early in the second quarter with a double-digit lead. The Tigers clawed back and outscored the Eagles in the quarter to trail by seven, 34-27, at the half.
That deficit decreased after a poor offensive third quarter for Stratford as the Eagles connected on only one field goal, cutting their lead to 40-37 after three quarters.
Greene County trailed by only five with approximately three minutes remaining but failed to score another point as Stratford knocked down five free throws in the final minute-and-a-half.
Kieaundra Chaffin led the Tigers with 11 points while Tra’Ceria Dunn chipped in nine points. On top of Woodcock’s 19 points, Nadia Reese added eight for Stratford.