Hephzibah girls advance in playoffs

The last four-plus minutes made the coach worry, but the first 16 minutes did more than enough to give Wendell Lofton’s team a win.

Using a huge first-half run, the Hephzibah girls basketball team won at home against Dougherty, 61-56, Tuesday evening in the second round of the Georgia High School Association’s Class AAA state tournament. The win puts the Lady Rebels in the final eight.

“That was the best first half,” Lofton said. “But the last four minutes and 41 seconds weren’t. That made us sweat.”

With the Lady Rebels (19-7) down eight early in the second quarter, Hephzibah pulled out a 16-0 run, with Tiffani Harrison and Daedae Jordan taking turns hitting back-to-back 3-pointers.

With the run, the Lady Rebels overcame turnover woes that saw what was once a 17-point fourth-quarter lead get dwindle down to five.

But struggles toward the end didn’t take away a victory.