Glenn Hills coach Bernard Bowman noted a lot more pep in his team Friday. Cross Creek coach Kim Schlein agonized over a letdown in hers during the Region 3-AAA semifinals.
"We had a 180-degree turnaround," Bowman said. "We had much more energy and focus on the court than when we scraped by with a win on Thursday."
The Lady Razorbacks floated high after a last-second shot Thursday earned them a state playoff berth. They were at the other end of the emotional spectrum after a 45-41 loss to Glenn Hills on Friday.
"It looked like we were still living off that high and not focused," Schlein said. "I could point out why and how they won. But the reality is we just didn't play well."
Schlein mentioned the foul trouble her team faced early. Cross Creek also missed on 11 of 15 free throws.
Yet the Lady Razorbacks (14-14) still had a chance when a Taylor Ayers' 3-pointer brought them to within two in the final minute.
"But then we had the ball with an opportunity but turned it over," Schlein said.
Glenn Hills (18-9) secured a spot in tonight's region championship against Hephzibah. The Lady Spartans also carved out a niche in school history with the win.
"We've never hosted a state playoff game at our school," Bowman said. "That's as far as I can remember. So if my history is right, this win means we host a first-round game in the state playoffs Friday. We've hosted region playoffs, but never a state game, so that's a super accomplishment."
Junior guard Ciara Lyons led all scorers with 20 points.
Bowman noted an "increase in composure" among the young players on his team.
"I thought Jessica Morton really grew up tonight," he said. "She's just a freshman, but I thought she made good strides with some big free-throw shots she made down the homestretch."
Morton finished with eight points and two big foul shots in the fourth quarter.
Glenn Hills was one of three teams to beat Hephzibah this year. The Lady Spartans notched a 49-47 win before either team got into region play.
"We're always going to be the underdogs," Lyons said. "But I expect a real physical game. They are going to come ready. We are going to come ready, and everybody will see who's better tomorrow night."
CROSS CREEK (41)-Ashley Banks 13, Iesha Little 7, Miltonya Wilson 4, Taylor Ayers 11, Sharnage Young 6. Totals 17 4-15 41.
GLENN HILLS (45)-Jessica Morton 8, Ciara Lyons 20, Patsie Jones 4, Brandi Lamb 2, Chancellar Martin 8. Ceshera Powell 3. Totals 12 20-32 45.
Cross Creek 7 17 8 9 - 41
Glenn Hills 9 11 11 14 - 45
3-point goals: Cross Creek 3 (Ashley Banks 2, Taylor Ayers 1); Glenn Hills 1 (Ciara Lyons).
Records: Cross Creek 14-14. Glenn Hills 18-9. Next: Glenn Hills vs. Hephzibah, 7 p.m., today. Cross Creek vs. Richmond Hill, 4 p.m., today.