High School Sports

Sweet 16 provides exciting appetizer for Elite Eight action ahead

Stratford’s Nadia Reese (23) watches her three-point shot go in Wednesday night during the Eaglettes’ 43-40 second round playoff win over Prince Avenue Christian. Stratford will host Calvary Day Tuesday, February 26, in the elite eight.
Stratford’s Nadia Reese (23) watches her three-point shot go in Wednesday night during the Eaglettes’ 43-40 second round playoff win over Prince Avenue Christian. Stratford will host Calvary Day Tuesday, February 26, in the elite eight. jvorhees@macon.com

The Sweet 16 brought about quite a few upsets and wild finishes including the two-time defending state champion Upson-Lee getting knocked out of the playoffs. Other local favorites like Peach County girls, Central girls, Houston County boys and the Westside boys suffered similar defeats. Here is a recap of the action from around the Middle Georgia area.

Boys

Warner Robins 52 vs Starr’s Mill 39

Jumping out of the gym has become a norm for the Demons. The win over Starr’s Mill featured a heavy dose of high flying dunks and some high octane offense despite the low scoring outcome.

While the team is known for that brand of basketball, the defense has been the catalyst through the two playoff games.

If this team continues to mesh quick, effective offense with smothering defense then a repeat as state champions are not out of the question.

Northeast 64 vs Hephzibah 52

Heading into this game, Northeast Head Coach Kevin Grooms said that they were working on getting their offense going this week. The Raiders did manage to have that uptick in offense over some of their recent games but once again their defense carried the team to victory.

It is no secret that this team prides itself on defensive intensity so for them to hold a fellow Sweet 16 team to under 55 points is an impressive feat.

The Elite Eight is up next for the Raiders as they continue this incredible season.

Girls

Rutland 58 vs Pierce County 50

This Rutland team came into the playoffs after suffering back-to-back losses in the region tournament. The offense simply wasn’t clicking and the defense was struggling to contain the other team.

Since entering the playoffs, the team has flipped the script with a pair of wins on the road over higher-seeded teams.

This is a Cinderella-like run for the Hurricanes as they look to make a push for a state title.

Stratford 43 vs Prince Avenue 40

This Stratford team doesn’t lose a lot of games for a reason. In this game, they were able to grind out a win over Prince Avenue to send them into the Elite Eight.

This showcases the team’s ability to win close games which could become a key factor as the fields narrows to only the best teams.

With just one loss on the season, this has been a dominate run for Stratford and one that could end in a state title.

Other scores from around Middle Georgia:

Boys

Carver-Columbus 76 vs Howard 49

Heritage 59 vs Houston County 51

Windsor Forest 67 vs Westside 53

Americus-Sumter 59 vs Upson-Lee 53

Girls

Tattnall County 57 vs Peach County 42

Beach 50 vs Central 28

Griffin 69 vs Jones County 48

Veterans 49 vs Statesboro 47

Justin Baxley is the fan life reporter at The Telegraph and writes stories centered around entertainment, food and sports in the Macon community. Justin joined the Telegraph staff after graduating from Mercer University in May 2017 with a degree in criminal justice and journalism. During his time at Mercer he served as the sports editor for The Cluster.
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