Richmond Academy ran into a brick wall Saturday night in the Augusta Holiday Round Ball Classic girls championship at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.
After coming from behind in the fourth quarter to win its first two games of the tournament, Richmond Academy ran out of luck, losing to the Lady Spartans 57-36.
Laney (7-5) prevented Glenn Hills from sweeping the Classic again this year by defeating the Spartans 65-52 in the boys final.
Glenn Hills (12-0) ended the Lady Musketeers' title quest by claiming its second consecutive Classic championship. Class AAA Richmond Academy (9-2) has lost twice this season to Glenn Hills, a Class AAAA school.
The best opportunity for the Lady Musketeers came in the third quarter, as they initiated the full-court press they used to overtake Calhoun County and Butler in their two previous games.
Trailing 35-18 early in the quarter, Richmond Academy began a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer by Latoshia Broadwater. Broadwater dominated the streak, scoring seven of the Lady Musketeers' nine points and recording three steals. Andrea Wright stole the ball and passed to Broadwater for a layup to cut the lead to 35-27 with four minutes left in the quarter.
After a timeout, Glenn Hills responded by implementing a press of its own to successfully thwart the Lady Musketeers' comeback. The Lady Spartans began a 20-2 run that would give them a 55-29 cushion with two minutes left in the game.
"We usually press all the time, regardless (of whom we're playing)," Glenn Hills coach Bernard Bowman said. "The main reason for the press is to control the tempo of the game, and that's what we tried to do."
Sophomore center Tyhiesha Smith keyed the Glenn Hills run, scoring eight of her 17 points in the last 12 minutes of the game.
Richmond Academy continued to press in the fourth quarter but was overmatched by the Lady Spartans' size, speed and athleticism. The Lady Musketeers were unable to work the ball into center Marie Reid, who was limited to only two points. Most of their attempts came from the perimeter, where they struggled, especially in the second half.
In boys' action, Cory Tyler scored a game-high 20 points, including 14 in the second half and 10 in the fourth quarter.
The win was Laney's first in the tournament's championship game.
The Wildcats led 45-39 at the end of the third quarter and were able to pull away in the fourth. Tyler and Alain Walker each converted four of four free throw attempts.
"In our situation, we end up playing the same (area) teams three or four times a year, but I guess you decide the city champion that way," said Laney coach Norman Bonner, who has already played Laney and Hephzibah more than once this year. "If that's the case, we accept the city championship, since all the schools in the city played in the tournament."
Reach Lane Kramer at 823-3219.
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