AA Basketball Blog: Five big second-round moments

The Elite Eight field for the girls is almost set. Here’s what we’ve got for this weekend:

Friday at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center in Dalton: No. 1 Model vs. No. 6 Lovett at 4 p.m.; No. 3 Buford vs. No. 9 Heard County at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Savannah State University: No. 4 Morgan County vs. the winner of Wednesday’s contest between Thomasville and No. 2 Laney at 4 p.m.; Brooks County vs. Putnam County, 7 p.m.

The boys quarterfinalists will be determined tonight. That schedule features: Thomasville at No. 3 Laney, Early County at No. 9 Morgan County; No. 2 Buford at Dawson County; No. 6 Jordan at No. 10 Coosa; Bleckley County at No. 4 Albany; Dodge County at No. 8 Vidalia; Jefferson at No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian; and East Hall at No. 5 Manchester.

Five highlights from Tuesday night:

Buford rallies at beat North Oconee

The No. 3 Wolves trailed by six points with 6:10 left in the fourth quarter before battling back against No. 7 North Oconee for a 53-45 victory.

Kaela Davis scored 21 points to lead Buford and knocked down nine in the last quarter. Davis was perfect on six free thrown attempts in the final period.

Buford senior Andraya Carter, a Tennessee commit, dislocated her left shoulder in the second period, but came back to get a crucial steal and basket in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Carter had another steal that set up MacKenzie Darrah’s 3-pointer to put Buford (23-7) ahead to stay.

North Oconee (25-5) got 15 points from Ginny Channell and 14 from Brook Hubbard.

Model weathers storm against GAC

The No. 1-ranked Model girls had their hands full against Greater Atlanta Christian, the unranked third seed from Region 6. The Blue Devils withstood a furious rally and advanced with a 62-60 win.

Model had an 11-point lead with four minutes remaining when Sydni Means got hot. The guard scored 12 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter. Brianna Cummings had a game-high 23 points for the Spartans (20-9).

Model (29-1) extended its winning streak to 26 games and had three girls in double figures: Bekah Sapp with 20, Timia Reynolds with 13 and Carla Clemmons with 11.

Lovett girls score crucial road win

No. 5 East Hall had four potential game-winning shots in the final 15 seconds, but none of them fell in and No. 6 Lovett survived to take a 44-43 road win and move to the quarterfinals.

East Hall’s Morgan Jackson scored 19 points and led a valiant comeback attempt from six points down in the fourth quarter. The Vikings (26-4) even led 43-42 on a pair of free throws from Jasmine Jenkins, who had 10 points.

Lovett (25-5) scored what proved to be the winning back when Sydney Umeri made a short jumper with 18 seconds remaining. Tatianna Jackson led the Lions with 19 points and Christen Johnson had 15 rebounds.

Heard County survives scare from Calhoun

The No. 9 Heard County girls had to go to overtime to eliminate No. 8 Calhoun 66-62. The game was filled with 19 lead changes and 14 ties and Heard advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in 25 years.

The game went to overtime when Calhoun’s Carly Curtis made a runner in the final seconds to tie the game at 59-59.

Heard County (24-3) showed great balance on offense, with Aaliyah Rutledge leading the way with 18 points. Others in double figures were Jemeka Parks with 16, Jasmine Cook with 10 points and 14 rebounds, and Reece Walker with 10.

Calhoun (23-6) was led by center Taylor Palmer, who had 29 points. Curtis scored 13 points.

Morgan County keeps on rolling

The No. 4 Morgan County girls (28-1) had no problem with Albany. The Bulldogs led 20-7 after one quarter and 31-11 at halftime, coasting home for a 53-23 win in the most lopsided second-round game played. Morgan has now won 12 straight games since its only loss.

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