High School Sports

More News | The BlitzContact Editor

Laney girls to play for state championship

Laney 67, Kendrick 44

Friday, March 1, 2013 6:03 PM
Last updated Saturday, March 2, 2013 6:13 PM
  • Follow High school

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — As she sat on the bench with victory assured, Simone Smith held up her index finger and looked around to make eye contact with anyone who would see her.

Back | Next
Laney forward Wynetta Wright attempts a layup during the second half Friday against Kendrick. Wright finished the game with nine points.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Laney forward Wynetta Wright attempts a layup during the second half Friday against Kendrick. Wright finished the game with nine points.

TEAM PAGE: Laney Wildcats

The Laney senior directed her attention to teammates or turned and searched for the cheering fans in the stands, with her one finger signaling her point.

Yes, the semifinal slump is done, but there’s one more to go.

The Laney girls basketball team advanced to the Georgia High School Association Class AA state championship game with a 67-44 win Friday against Kendrick at Georgia College. The Lady Wildcats next head to Macon for a 3 p.m. game against Wesleyan this Friday for a chance to win their first GHSA state title. Wesleyan routed Thomasville 83-34 to reach the final.

“I’m happy, I’m overwhelmed, I’m excited,” Smith said. “This is the team. But there’s one more – then we’ll really celebrate.”

Laney had lost in the state semifinals four years in a row, but Khadijiah Cave wouldn’t let that happen in a matchup between undefeated teams.

Cave had five blocks in the first quarter alone and was often unstoppable on offense. She created opportunities for herself if needed, usually going with a hook, or she received passes from Aliyah Collier and others to get layups. The Baylor signee had 31 points in the game, including 12 in the second quarter as Laney led 35-25 at the half.

Cave’s dominance was highlighted in one play. Late in the game with Laney ahead 63-44, Cave had the ball barely inside the 3-point line when she did a little jump and went with the hook to score.

“They were questioning about Baylor,” Lady Wildcats coach Otis Smart said, with a smile, about any doubters. “But she was awesome. She was awesome. Cave went off.”

The Lady Wildcats (30-0) had some turnover issues, but the defense straigtened up. With Cave, Smith and Collier among those rejecting shots, the Lady Cherokees fell apart near the rim. And when they did get off shots, the threat of the block led to a few wayward shots, including one that went over the backboard.

Earlier in the game, freshman Gemiya Bowman started Laney’s dominance, scoring all eight of her points in the opening period as her team never trailed.

Collier was also her disruptive self near the beginning. She didn’t score until the third quarter, but Collier ended a fast break chance by leaping to knock the ball out of bounds. She forced a five-second call by harassing the inbounder and also got steals and blocks.

Also, when Kendrick did attempt to make it close, Laney always had an answer. Wynetta Wright was the solution at times, ending a 6-0 Lady Cherokees run in the third quarter with back-to-back scores and also putting in Laney’s first basket of the fourth quarter.

Kendrick got 14 points from Kahlia Lawrence, but Laney turned a showdown of unbeatens into a rout.

“I’m just excited,” Cave said. “I can’t describe it.”

TITLE GAMES

GISA

Boys

• Curtis Baptist vs. Dawson Street, 1:40 p.m. at Mercer University in the Class A championship

SCHSL

Girls

• McCormick vs. Hemingway, 11 a.m. today at Colonial Life Arena in the Class A championship

GHSA

Girls

• Laney vs. Wesleyan,
3 p.m. Friday at Macon Centreplex

Comments (1)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
showboat
264
Points
showboat 03/01/13 - 08:24 pm
0
0

GREAT JOB COACH SMART AND THE

Unpublished

GREAT JOB COACH SMART AND THE WILD CATS.

Just My Opinion
4637
Points
Just My Opinion 03/01/13 - 09:03 pm
0
0

That is AWESOME!! So very

That is AWESOME!! So very proud of these young ladies and wish them all the luck! Go get'em girls and make Augusta proud! (But we're already proud of y'all.)

Back to Top

Top headlines

Augusta pensioners eye benefit increase

With an eye on the millions remaining in the city's oldest pension funds - its 1945 and 1949 plans - a handful of retired city and county employees are reviving a push to increase their monthly ...
Loading...