Region 3-AAAAAA Basketball
Lady Cougars end state playoff drought, finish as No. 4 seed
by Doug Gorman
Newnan's girls basketball team may feel disappointed about Tuesday's finish at the Region 3-AAAAAA basketball tournament.
But the Lady Cougars won't be putting the basketballs back into storage either.
Despite falling to third-seeded Langston Hughes 57-26 in Tuesday's third-place game, Newnan is headed to the Class AAAAAA state tournament for the first time in school history after snapping a six-year postseason drought with its win over rival East Coweta.
The last time the Lady Cougars advanced this far, it was when Newnan was still a Class AAAAA school in 2007-08.
Unable to maintain an early 5-2 lead against No. 3 seed Langston Hughes (22-5), Newnan had to settle for a fourth-place finish out of Region 3-AAAAAA and will travel to 1-AAAAAA champion Lowndes in this weekend's first-round state playoff game to be played either Friday or Saturday.
Following its 46-44 win over rival East Coweta behind a final go-ahead basket by guard Metryes Geter and a 60-27 loss to top-seeded Westlake on Monday, the Lady Cougars ran out of steam in the last of three tournament games at Tri-Cities.
Unlike the victory over East Coweta, where Geter gave Newnan its only lead of the game in the closing seconds, the Lady Cougars found themselves leading early against Hughes before having the floor pulled out from beneath them.
The Lady Panthers used a 24-5 run to the half for a 16-point lead and never looked back.
Newnan took its early 5-2 lead on baskets by Geter and and Destani Parks, but it didn't take the Lady Panthers much longer to get hot.
Langston Hughes went on a 14-0 run paced by the play of Destiny Taylor who scored eight points in the second quarter, hitting two 3-pointers.
Despite its two early field goals, Newnan connected on just five shots from the field while unable to connect again until late in the third quarter.
Bodecia Zackery broke the drought for Newnan with a basket to cut the Lady Panthers' lead to 41-13.
After falling behind 48-14 at the end of the third quarter, Newnan played its best basketball in the final eight minutes, scoring 12 points.
Baskets by Geter and Shakera Geter helped pace the offense.
Parks also converted all four free throw attempts in the period to finish with a team-high 11 points. Chaycie Goggins added six, all coming from the free-throw line...
Taylor and Jharna Alston each led Langston Hughes with 10 points apiece.
Lowndes (18-8) wrapped up its region title last week with a 72-66 win over Brunswick.
Lady Panthers 57, Lady Cougars 26 Newnan 5 5 4 12-26 Hughes 11 15 22 9-57