After losing five seniors from last year's team, including four starters, no one really knew what to expect from the Tattnall Square girls basketball team this year.
The Trojans, however, have fed off of the leadership of seniors Brianna Beasley and Jordan Allen, and the double-figure scoring from new starters Allie Gordon and Abby Rouse to roll into Friday afternoon's matchup with undefeated Greenforest in the GHSA Class A Private School Tournament quarterfinals with a 25-2 record.
Stratford is the only team to defeat Tattnall. The Trojans defeated Athens Christian to advance to the quarterfinal game, which will be played at Kennesaw State.
Allen, a three-year starter, relishes the chance to play on the big stage against an undefeated team.
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"I think the entire team is excited about playing someone who is undefeated," Allen said. "The excitement of the week makes it easy to be pumped up for practice, and I think our team chemistry is what makes this a special group. I feel like once it's time to play we will be able to feed off the energy in the building and give it all we have. We know that Greenforest is a great team, but our eyes are on the prize. I know that we are all looking forward to it."
Tattnall is led by Gordon, who averages 11 points per game, and the 6-foot-3 Rouse, who averages 10 points per game, and the Trojans have other capable scorers in Allen, Beasley and I'Uana Slaughter.
"I feel like it's pretty obvious that they can out-athlete us, but when it comes to basketball I feel pretty good," said Tattnall head coach Todd Whetsel, whose team won more than 20 games for the fourth straight year. "If we turn the ball over, that just feeds them, and we will be in trouble because they can finish as well as anyone. I think we can compete with them, and why shouldn't we expect to play great at this time of year?
"It's what we have worked for, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity."
Even Whetsel said he didn't expect to have this much success, but he is excited to see his team perform on the big stage.
"We have overachieved all year, and I don't think anyone really expected us to be so successful this year, but this is a team that does not quit and works hard to find a way to win," Whetsel said. "That's exactly what I expect to see on Friday."