Originally created 03/07/03

Hephzibah falls in state championship game



ATLANTA - A second straight trip to the Georgia Class AAAA state championship game provided a second dose of frustration for the Hephzibah girls basketball team Friday.

The Lady Rebels took a big lead early, rallied to force overtime, then threw away their best chances to win their first state title. In the end, Mays finally took advantage of Hephzibah's mistakes for a 49-44 victory at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

The Lady Rebels (29-5) led 15-5 after one quarter, but Mays rallied for the lead. After trailing most of the second half, Hephzibah tied the game at 38-38 on a basket by Tiffany Drayton with 3:13 to play. The Lady Rebels fell behind again by three with 1:10 to play, but Drayton converted a 3-point play with 60 seconds to go to tie the game.

Mays' Ramona Okonya had a chance to win the game with 1.2 seconds to play, but missed both free throws for overtime.

In the extra period, the Lady Rebels continually made poor passes and never found any offense besides Drayton, whose basket with 2:40 left in overtime were her team's final points of the game.

Drayton scored her team's final eight points of the game.