Lady Rebels make early exit

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - Southwest Macon head coach Willie Goolsby said senior Takeisha Williams has ice water in her veins.

That's why he felt comfortable when Williams got the ball with time running out in Friday's GHSA Class AAA second-round game against No. 4 Hephzibah.

"She's the one we want with the ball," Goolsby said. "She just makes shots when we need them."

Williams made a seven-foot jumper with 1.1 seconds left to beat the Lady Rebels 51-49, erasing what was nearly a substantial collapse for the top-ranked Lady Patriots.

"I just didn't want to go to overtime," Williams said. "I just wanted to make the shot, and I did, and I'm happy."

Southwest Macon (28-1) led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter and looked like a team sending a message to the state that its loss to Northeast in the Region 4-AAA championship game was merely a hiccup.

The Lady Patriots lost some momentum in the third and fourth quarters by going into a delay offense to try and burn up some clock.

"Maybe it hurt us, and maybe it didn't," Goolsby said. "I'm not sure. But (Hephzibah) made a run on us. I'm not sure if what we did on offense would have stopped that (run)."

A pair of 3-pointers by junior Jasmine Judge cut Southwest Macon's lead to 10 points after three quarters.

The Lady Rebels (26-4) kept chipping away, pulling within three on a 3-pointer by Aubern Marshall with 5:40 to play in the game.

After the Lady Patriots extended the lead back to seven points, Hephzibah went on another run that was capped by a Judge 3-pointer with 1:26 left to tie the game at 49-49.

"I'm just so proud of these kids for battling back," said Hephzibah head coach Wendell Lofton, who had led his team to the state championship game in four of the previous five seasons. "They made some big shots. A lot of big shots."

Macon Southwest's leading scorer Parrisha Simmons fouled out just before Judge's 3-pointer.

After a missed basket by Macon Southwest's Deanna Coleman, Hephzibah missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to give the Lady Patriots a chance to win.


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