Game-winner gives Carver top seed; North Clayton stamps 15th straight win
The Carver-Columbus and Columbus girls met in the Region 1 championship after splitting the regular season series. Carver took the first meeting 69-53 back on Dec. 21, but Columbus grabbed a 77-53 road victory on Jan. 20. After two blowouts, the schools went down to the wire on Friday as the Tigers won the region title with a 54-53 win over Columbus. Carver trailed 53-51 and had 12 seconds left on the clock and used an aggressive philosophy from head coach Anson Hundley to try and steal the victory.
“We aren’t supposed to win anyways, so let’s go for it right now,” Hundley told the Ledger Enquire. “We put our shooters in, and I said, ‘Whichever one of y’all see it, take it.’”
Mya Milner took her shot with three seconds left and saw the game-winner fall for her 12th points of the game. Columbus (20-5) will wear the No. 2 seed into the playoffs and opens with a favorable matchup with 14-10 Burke County.
Region 4’s North Clayton girls were the only No. 2 seed to win a region crown this season. On Friday, the red-hot Eagles scored a 66-43 win over Henry County to clinch the top seed in the playoffs. North Clayton dropped a 78-50 contest with Henry County on Dec. 2, which marked a 0-3 start. North Clayton continued to struggle and at one point was just 4-9 on the year. Since, the Eagles have compiled 15 straight wins, including a 62-50 win over Henry County on New Year’s Eve and the 23-point blowout on Friday. North Clayton outscored Henry County 44-13 in the second and third quarter to call for a mercy rule fourth quarter. Four different players reached double-figures, including Dalania Clardy who finished with a game-high 25 points.
Class AAAA First Round Pairings
R8 #3 Madison County at R6 #2 Heritage-Catoosa
R2 #4 Upson-Lee at R4 #1 North Clayton
R1 #3 Shaw at R3 #2 Richmond Academy
R7 #4 Blessed Trinity at R5 #1 Sandy Creek
R6 #3 Pickens at R8 #2 North Oconee
R4 #4 Salem at R2 #1 Spalding
R3 #3 Burke County at R1 #2 Columbus
R5 #4 Troup at R7 #1 West Hall
R4 #3 Luella at R2 #2 Perry
R6 #4 Gilmer at R8 #1 Jefferson
R5 #3 Chapel Hill at R7 #2 Chestatee
R3 #4 Baldwin at R1 #1 Carver-Columbus
R2 #3 West Laurens at R4 #2 Henry County
R8 #4 St. Pius at R6 #1 Northwest Whitfield
R7 #3 Marist at R5 #2 LaGrange
R1 #4 Americus-Sumter at R3 #1 Cross Creek