High School Basketball/Region 3-AAAAAA Tournament
Lady Cougars rally to beat EC, clinch state tournament berth
by Doug Gorman
EAST POINT — The Newnan Lady Cougars are headed to the Class AAAAAA State Tournament following a little bit of late fourth-quarter heroics Saturday that knocked out rival East Coweta from state playoff contention during the opening round of the Region 3-AAAAAA tournament at Tri-Cities High School.
After trailing the entire way against the fourth-seeded Lady Indians, No. 5 seed Newnan broke through in the final minute en route to a 46-44 win while advancing to play No. 1 Westlake on Monday at 7 p.m..
Newnan guard Metryes Geter’s 3-point shot with 54 seconds left gave the Lady Cougars a 45-42 lead and it held up, ending the Lady Indians first-season under head coach Jared Waggoner with a 10-15 overall record.
East Coweta seemed in control while leading 28-20 at halftime and extending its lead to 12 in third quarter on a basket by Quentina Roberts.
However, drama between the two teams is nothing new this season. Saturday’s region tournament game was the third meeting between rivals with each squad winning on the other team’s home court during the regular season.
“We just kept fighting,” said Newnan head coach LaVarrett Pearson. “I am proud of the way we played and fought.”
East Coweta took control of the game in the first quarter, building a 14-11 lead. Kiandra Hall was the catalyst early for the Lady Indians, hitting two 3-point shots for East Coweta in the first eight minutes of the game.
Makaila Horsley also got into the act early for Newnan in the first quarter with a 3-pointer. Her trey tied the game at 5, but East Coweta kept the lead until late in the game after Hall hit her second 3-pointer of the period.
The Lady Indians pushed their way to the eight-point halftime lead with the help of free throw shooting as Adrianna Williams and Shemiah Sanchez each connected on both of their free throw attempts.
However, Newnan’s defense took over in the second half, limiting East Coweta to just five four shots from the field in the second half.
Destani Parks took over for Newnan in the second half with three baskets in the paint in the fourth quarter.
She also completed old-fashion three-point play for Newnan, hitting the shot, drawing the foul and also hitting the free throw as part of the Lady Cougars comeback.
Eboni Williams kept East Coweta in the lead for most of the fourth quarter despite the team’s shooting slump, hitting 4 of 4 free throws in the final period.
Williams scored six points in the final period for East Coweta ands finished the game with 14 points. The Lady Indians played nearly the entire season without sophomore Ayanna Reid and lost fellow standout junior Brittany Sinkfield to an injury as well while trying to battle through the second half of the season.
Geter led Newnan 16 points and Parks added 15 en route to the win.