GHSA basketball state roundup: LFO, Chattooga girls survive to reach quarterfinals

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / LFO's Christen Collins, left, and Angel Simmons, right, apply defensive pressure and force a turnover by Hart County's Dakota Phillips on Wednesday during the first round of the GHSA Class AAA state tournament in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. LFO won that matchup and again in the second round Saturday against Thomson.

The Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Chattooga girls were the only area teams standing after a difficult afternoon and evening for northwest Georgia programs on day two of the second round of the GHSA basketball state tournaments.

LFO's Lady Warriors led from start to finish to get past Thomson 61-47 in Class AAA on Saturday, when the Lady Indians used a strong fourth quarter to defeat Lamar County 54-48 in Class AA.

LaFayette's boys lost for the first time this season, 50-47 to Cross Creek in Class AAA, the third consecutive time the Razorbacks have eliminated the Ramblers. The LFO boys led in the final quarter before falling 52-41 at Sumter County in AAA, and the Chattooga boys lost on a buzzer-beater as Early County won 70-68 in AA.

The Ringgold girls fell 44-28 at Central-Macon in AAA, and the Trion girls were eliminated in Class A public with a 52-36 loss at Montgomery County.

The LFO girls (28-1) will host Greater Atlanta Christian either Tuesday or Wednesday, while the Chattooga girls (17-12) will visit Rabun County. Northwest Whitfield's girls, who won Friday, will play at Baldwin in the quarterfinals, while Heritage's girls will travel to Marist, with both games in Class AAAA. The area's lone boys' team remaining, Calhoun, will host Woodland-Henry in Class AAAAA.

The LFO girls led 34-23 at halftime but were ahead just five entering the final quarter before Christen Collins scored nine of her game-high 20 points to help stave off the Thomson rally attempt. Christen Collins added 15 for the Lady Warriors, with Angel Simmons getting eight of her 13 in the second quarter.

"Thomson was a very good opponent," LFO coach Dewayne Watkins said. "We knew they were bigger and stronger than we were, but we felt we had an advantage with speed, quickness and shooting. It was a game of runs. We had to adjust to their length and physicality early, and once we figured out how we wanted to attack their press, I felt good.

"Our young ladies are competing, and that is all I can ask of them."

Chattooga trailed by one versus Lamar County, but Makiya Parrish scored eight of her game-high 28 points and Sada Williamson had nine of her 14 in the final eight minutes to key the rally for the Lady Indians. Tamya Blasingame led Lamar County (19-11) with 23 points.

In AAA boys' competition, an 11-0 run in the second quarter gave Cross Creek (23-6) its first lead on LaFayette (26-1), and the Razorbacks never trailed. Antoine Lorick had four points in the outburst, which also included back-to-back 3-pointers from Jaquez Ellison and Jayden Pack.

The Ramblers, who were led by senior Aidan Hadaway's 23 points and 12 rebounds, got within three with less two minutes to go on a three-point play from Hadaway and Jaylon Ramsey's basket, but Ahmad McClain answered with a 3 to help seal the win for Cross Creek.

Chattooga's boys raced out to a 26-14 lead after eight minutes but could not stave off a strong rally by Early County (13-12), a comeback capped by Marcus Lindsey's short jumper at the buzzer for the win. Jaylon Johnson paced Chattooga (21-7) with 28 points.

Trion's girls led early at Montgomery County (25-2) before the hosts took control in the third quarter as sisters Makyla and Marley Bell took over. They finished with 27 combined points, with Jenna Mosley leading Trion (18-9) with 13.

The Ringgold girls (20-10) lost at Central-Macon (23-5) despite nine points and three steals from Kayla Lopez, four steals from Rachel Lopez and eight rebounds from Addi Broome.

Contact Lindsey Young at Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.