Tyleia Williams admits that the thought of success for the Central Chargers girls team goes all the way back to the sixth grade on a team that featured Jenya Wilder, Jada Clowers and herself.
Five years later, the three juniors led the Chargers into the GHSA 3A quarterfinals with a 59-46 win over Hart County. Williams led the way with 20 points, and Clowers scored 14 points to go with 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots, while Wilder scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Central took control of the game in the third quarter and never looked back.
Four who mattered
Williams: The guard scored nine points in the first half but played her best basketball in the fourth quarter when she scored 11. She made 5-of-8 free throws down the stretch to help hold off Hart County.
Clowers: The 6-foot-1 Clowers had 10 points in the second half, including four quick points in the fourth quarter off assists from Williams to give Central a 48-37 lead.
Wilder: The guard did most of her damage in the first half, with eight points, and she had 10 of her game-high 14 rebounds in the second half.
Maeisha Teasley: The Hart County guard had 17 of her 19 points in the second half to keep the Bulldogs in the game.
Central opened the second half on a 12-4 run to open up a 36-24 lead. The Chargers did it with defense as Hart County started the third quarter by going 1-for- 10 from the field.
Toombs calls a great timeout: Hart County was determined to make it a game in the fourth quarter and cut the Chargers’ lead to 37-30 in the first minute after three straight Central turnovers. But Central head coach Sheila Toombs called a timeout, and it did the trick as Central outscored Hart County 9-4 during the next three minutes to put the game away.
They said it
Williams on the win: “We knew we had to match their intensity from the start of the game, and I think we did a good job of doing that.”
Williams on getting another home game: “Playing at home is very important because we get the home crowd, and we stay in our routine. We feel like we want to continue to represent our school and our town, and we love playing at home.”
Wilder on the importance of getting an early lead: “We wanted to get out fast because we knew they had some great athletes. Once we got the lead, we were a very confident basketball team.”
Toombs on the timeout: “I told them that we could not relax and we still had to take care of business. Each situation now in this type of game is new to us because these girls have never played in these types of playoff games. But really we have Peach County to thank for making us a much better basketball team. I was proud of the way we finished.”
Central hosts Beach on Tuesday in the quarterfinals.
Central advances to elite 8