State-tournament journey continues

Published 12:19 am Tuesday, February 20, 2018

They’ll be road warriors this week.

Teams from Callaway, LaGrange and Troup will all continue their state-tournament journeys this week, and they’ll each be on the road for their second-round tests.

The girls’ teams from Callaway and LaGrange will play on Wednesday, while the Troup boys’ team will take the court on Thursday.

On the line for each of them is a trip to the quarterfinals.

Callaway, the number two team from Region 5-AA, is coming off a dramatic 54-49 victory over South Atlanta in the first round.

Next up for Callaway is Model (23-3), which won the Region 7-AA championship before beating Putnam County 70-64 in the first round.

Against South Atlanta, Callaway trailed by eight points in the fourth quarter, but it finished the game on a 13-0 run to win its first state-tournament game in 15 years.

“I felt like they weren’t ready for the season to end,” Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said. “I’m not ready for the season to end. So we’re going to keep playing. We didn’t play a great game, but we played good enough.

Model had its hands full against Putnam County, but it held on for the win thanks in large part to a 38-point outburst from senior forward Victoria Saxton.

LaGrange is moving on after a hard-earned 59-50 win over Heritage-Catoosa in the first round.

The Lady Grangers (19-9) took the halftime lead on a 3-pointer by Chnaireia Strozier, and they led throughout the second half.

LaGrange’s three seniors all played critical roles in the win.

Aryan Dozier led the way with 23 points, and her defense on Heritage guard Ansley Bice helped turn the game in LaGrange’s favor.

Bice finished with 16 points, but she was held to one point in the fourth quarter with Dozier playing lock-down defense on her.

Chnaireia Strozier added 20 points and she was 5-of-5 from the free-throw line, and Shaq Sutton added eight points, with six of those points coming in the second quarter as LaGrange rallied to take the lead.

Marist (22-2), the champion of Region 7-AAAA, beat St. Pius 36-22 to advance to the second round.

It’ll be a rematch of a first-round game from last season which LaGrange won 46-43.

That game was played at LaGrange, and Marist will serve as the host team this season.

Troup, the number three team from Region 5-AAAA, reached the second round with a 56-54 overtime win over Northwest Whitfield last week.

Troup’s second-round opponent will be a strong St. Pius X team, which improved to 25-3 with Saturday’s 76-34blowout win over White County.

St. Pius, which won the Region 8-AAAA championship, has won 16 of its past 17 games, with the only loss during that stretch coming to a team from Alabama.

In Troup’s win over Northwest, junior post player King Mwikuta led Troup with 16 points, while senior point guard Jarrious Jefferson added 13 points.

Seniors Tristen Ware and Montez Crowe added 11 and six points, respectively.

Troup has advanced to the second round of the state tournament for the first time in more than five years.