Late baskets power Newnan past host ECHS
by Doug Gorman
On another wild Friday night, Newnan and East Coweta basketball teams reinforced the meaning of the word 'rivalry.' With John Thrower Memorial Gym packed to capacity, two intense games were decided in the final minute -both of which ending with Newnan lineups on top.
The Lady Cougars opened a doubleheader sweep with a 57-56 victory before the Cougars capped off a Region 3-AAAAAA sweep with a 62-60 effort.
Just seconds after Brandi Sinkfield gave the East Coweta girls a one-point lead, Chaycie Goggins took a pass in the lane, turned and hit a shot at the buzzer.
The victory broke a four-game losing streak for Newnan against their closest rival.
'This feels great,' 'Goggins said. 'We made some turnovers late, and I wasn't sure we were going to be able to pull it off.'
Goggins had left the game a few minutes earlier with a injured leg, but returned in time to finish off a 10-point effort with the biggest basket of the game.
East Coweta will remember Friday's game as one that got away after building a 31-22 lead.
The Lady Cougars started a comeback by outscoring the Lady Indians 19-6 in the third quarter.
Newnan was paced by Metryes Geter who scored 16 while East Coweta's Eboni Wiliams led all scorers with 22.
The Lady Indians built a 16-14 lead after one quarter paced by the play of Williams and Sinkfield.
'We just kept fighting and we hit some big free throws,' said Lady Cougars head coach LaVarrett Pearson.
The Cougars, meanwhile, rode a 29-point effort from Doniel Dean -including a final goahead basket in the closing seconds - to foil an upset bid by the Indians.
East Coweta stayed in the game shooting 10 3-pointers, but none was bigger than Zach Walker's trey down with under a minute to go to give the Indians a 60-59 lead.
However, it didn't hold up a Newnan scored the last three points.
East Coweta still had a chance to either send the game into overtime or winning it at the buzzer with a trey, but Newnan's Chris White blocked the last shot attempt of the game.
'This was a typical rival game,' Newnan head coach Rod Ladd said. 'I never thought East Coweta was going to shoot the ball like that.'
With Dean taking the ball inside and scoring from the outside, Immanuel Griggs scored from the outside, including two monster dunks.
He finished with 12 points.
Sterling Tyson led the Indians witbh 16, Zhakeer Jervey added 15, and Walker 9.
East Coweta came out firing treys early hitting its first four shots beyond the 3-point line for a 12-3 lead.
However, Newnan fought back and cut the lead to 16-13 at the end of the quarter.
'We just had to settle down,' Ladd said In this game you just never know.'