High School Basketball

Coggins again heroic for Lady Cougars

by Doug Gorman

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Newnan players celebrate a game-winning shot from Chaycie Goggins (2) that capped off a wild finish between the Lady Cougars and East Coweta on Friday at John Thrower Gym. Goggins beat the buzzer on a final basket for a 56-55 victory over the Lady Indians. 

When Chaycie Goggins began her final year of high school athletics on the softball field at Newnan, the senior couldn't envision how special it was going to be … in two sports.

After helping the Lady Cougars reach the GHSA Elite 8 in the fall, Goggins added another special moment on the basketball court with her game-winning shot at the buzzer that lifted Newnan past East Coweta 56-55 in the team's first Region 3-AAAAAA game of the season.

The Lady Cougars (5-11, 1-0) now take a two-game winning streak into Tuesday's trip to Douglas County (12-1, 2-0), which rolled past Tri-Cities 80-32 on Friday.

East Coweta's girls (6-5, 1-1) also face a tough task when they host Westlake, which defeated Langston Hughes 78-58 on Friday behind a 44-point effort from 6-0 junior forward Anriel Howard.

Battling a leg injury, Goggins' winner on Friday capped a wild ending where the lead changed hands three times in the final minute.

It was a familiar feeling for the Newnan senior, who came back from appendicitis just in time to belt a game-winning homer against Colquitt County to clinch a Class AAAAAA softball playoff series at home.

'I couldn't imagine this type of year,' Goggins said. 'It has been a lot of fun.'

East Coweta seemed ready to win its fifth straight meeting between basketball rivals when Lady Indian Brandi Sinkfield stole the ball under the basket and put it up off the glass a go-ahead shot with around four seconds left.

Inbounding the ba l l , Newnan quickly got to Goggins near midcourt, who dribbled to the paint and put up a final shot to cap off a 10-point performance.

'She is really stepping up and making big things happen,' said Lady Cougars head coach LaVarrett Pearson of Goggins. 'We have won some big games lately, and it is not going to get any easier.'

Metryes Geter led Newnan with 16 points.

The Lady Indians, meanwhile, are forced to regroup following its fourth straight loss, having led 31-22 at halftime. Despite watching Newnan respond with a 19-6 run in the third quarter, East Coweta stayed in the game with help from Eboni Williams' game-high 21 points and four free-throws late from Mekhia Freeman.

Shemiah Sanchez and Kiandra Hall also hit clutch 3-point shots for East Coweta.

Both of Friday's basketball games between 3-AAAAAA rivals came down to the final attempts from the floor.

'This game is all about rivalries,' Newnan head coach Rod Ladd said. 'You never know what is going to happen.'

The Indians got two cracks at the basket after Newnan's boys pulled ahead 62-60 following Doniel Dean's basket to cap off five unanswered points to close out a Cougars victory.

Dean, who capped off a game-high 29 point effort, missed two late free throws that kept the Indians within reach.

East Coweta, which made 10 three-pointers including four to open the game, took its final lead on Zach Walker's bomb to lead 60-57. Sterling Tyson had three treys to lead the Indians.

But the team's two final shots missed their mark, the last of which was blocked by Newnan defender Chris White.

With East Coweta (2-12, 0-2) finding its range early to push a nine-point lead, the Cougars relied on 6-foot-8 center Immanuel Griggs to help pull the team back in the first quarter en route to a 14-point effort.

Newnan (13-2, 1-0) faces another tough task on Tuesday when it travels to Douglas County (10-2, 0-1). The Tigers hosted Tri-Cities on Friday following a 74-73 loss to Westlake on Jan. 8.



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