Georgia Class A Playoffs
SOUTHWEST ATLANTA CHRISTIAN 72, GORDON LEE 59
SWAC 16 18 20 18 -- 72
Gordon Lee 14 15 16 14 -- 59
Southwest Atlanta Christian (72) -- Wilkey 3, Marquita Daniels 14, Alexis Carto 12, Griffin 8, Baker 5, Shavontae Naylor 22, Brown 6, Jackson 2.
Gordon Lee (59) -- Robertson 3, Kassidy Blevins 22, Barger 9, Kimbrell, Hartline, Holland, Lil Bradbury 17, Clayton, Lee 8.
3-point goals: SWAC 4 (Daniels 4); Gordon Lee 3 (Barger 3). Other highlights: Naylor 10 r, 6 s (SWAC); Bradbury 13 r; Lee 11 r (GL). Records: SWAC 27-3; Gordon Lee 26-4.
CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. — For a moment in the second half of Tuesday's Class A girls' state second-round playoff game, the Gordon Lee Lady Trojans weren't just thinking about upsetting the state's top-ranked team. They were in full belief it was going to happen.
Then reality -- and a game-changing full-court press -- set in as Southwest Atlanta Christian (27-3) avoided the upset and won 72-59.
Kassidy Blevins' short jump shot tied the game at 40 three minutes into the second half, completing a comeback from a 12-point deficit and handing full momentum to the Lady Trojans. But the Warriors turned up the heat defensively in the next three minutes to key a killing 14-4 run, effectively ending Gordon Lee's season at 26-4.
"It seemed like every time we made a run they would tip a pass and create a turnover and go the other way for a layup," Lady Trojans coach Lester Galyon said. "Hey, they're the No. 1 team in the state for a reason. They have people who can shoot inside and outside, they've got shot-blockers and all of them can fly down the court. Give them credit, they deserved to win tonight, but it wasn't for a lack of effort by us."
SWAC sub Amy Griffin scored seven of her eight points -- six off steals -- during the key run. Also during that time, Gordon Lee senior Lexis Robertson picked up her fourth foul. With the team's second ball-handler on the bench, the SWAC press was even more successful. Of Gordon Lee's seven third-quarter turnovers, five came during the run.
"They're a good team -- fast and quick and tough to handle," said Blevins, who led the Lady Trojans with 22 points. "We did almost everything we had to do to win, but it just wasn't enough. When we tied it I thought that was the big momentum change for us, but they responded."
A 3-pointer from Marquita Daniels, her fourth of the game, pushed the lead to 60-45 a minute into the final quarter, but Gordon Lee scored the next six points and had two subsequent possessions to trim the deficit further. However, a short miss and a turnover led to empty possessions, and Shavantae Naylor sealed the win with back-to-back steals, one leading to her layup and another to a three-point play for Amber Baker.
"I can't say enough about these girls, especially our two seniors, Lexis Robertson and Lil Bradbury," Galyon said. "This team set a school record for wins and won the region championship. I couldn't have asked for more."
Bradbury had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Trojans, while Naylor topped SWAC with 22 points, 10 rebounds and six steals.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...