Lady Rebels learn from past

Highlights of the Hephzibah girls second-round playoff game against Macon's Westside High School.
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HEPHZIBAH --- Amid a rowdy crowd, the voice of one Hephzibah girls basketball fan rang out during the second half of Tuesday's Class AAAA matchup against Macon's Westside High School.

"Y'all beat us one time," the fan shouted to the Lady Seminoles. "You ain't gonna beat us again."

Ten weeks after Westside handed the Lady Rebels a 14-point loss, Hephzibah found revenge with a 58-49 second-round win to advance to the state quarterfinals.

Hephzibah tore Westside's zone defense to pieces early in the game to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 17-3 lead.

"That's all we've been practicing: how to break the zone." Hephzibah senior Jalisa Baker said. "We realized our mistakes in the past and knew we could do it."

Westside's 6-foot-1 center Treanna Smith was held to two points in the first half. The Lady Rebels led 33-15 at halftime and appeared poised to cruise to the state quarterfinals. They increased the advantage to 40-19 early in the second half, but the Lady Seminoles didn't fold.

Westside's 9-0 run in the third quarter cut the lead to eight. Baker hit a layup to stop the run, then added a 3-pointer that hit rim, glass, then rim again before falling in.

Westside took back the momentum with a 12-0 run. Smith, who scored 19 points in the second half, added a bucket off an offensive rebound to cut Hephzibah's lead to five with 4:46 left.

"We shouldn't have been turning the ball over like that," Hephzibah coach Wendell Lofton said. "We stopped pushing the ball. ... As long as we attack the basket, we're all right."

Hephzibah regained control for good when junior Aarika Judge and freshman Tiffani Harrison hit back-to-back 3-pointers and sophomore Tannasia Rhodes added a three-point play with 3 minutes left to seal the win.

Baker led the Lady Rebels with 17 points, while Rhodes added 13. Senior forward Kenya Drayton, named the Region 3-AAAA co-player of the year Tuesday, scored 12 points and blocked six shots.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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misterme
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misterme 03/04/09 - 09:04 am
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I know that some schools will

I know that some schools will be glad when Mr. Lofton retires. He is truly a COACH. One that can teach. I have enjoyed hearing about the Lady Rebels under Mr. Lofton for the past twenty-some years. It will be nice to see them and Harlem hook up for the State championship.

X1
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X1 03/04/09 - 09:41 am
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yes he is a class act, way to

yes he is a class act, way to go sir we all can learn a thing or two from you other coaches beware Mr. Lofton and coach Larry Campbell are turly blessed when it come to teaching kids the game of life . these gents always get the most out of their kid and they dont always have the so call superstars on the team also at some point talent can only take you so far the COACH still has to COACH.

integrity
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integrity 03/04/09 - 10:50 pm
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Food for thought - This years

Food for thought - This years Harlem squad coached by Lofton!!!

X1
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X1 03/05/09 - 06:19 pm
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now that would be something

now that would be something

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