Two days into the Region 6-AAA tournament at Ringgold High School and all four teams from Catoosa County are still alive, although that will change by the time the final buzzer sounds on Thursday night.
The fifth-seeded LFO Lady Warriors used a huge second half to roll past ninth-seeded Adairsville, 64-37, on Tuesday before the fifth-seeded Ringgold boys held off an upset bid from eighth-seeded Adairsville, 50-42.
The Lady Warriors got three 3-pointers in the first quarter from Milijah Williams as they led 16-9 after the first eight minutes. However, LFO's offense would begin to cool off in the second quarter as the Lady Tigers came back to forge a 24-22 lead at intermission.
But the second half would be a much different story. Williams and senior sharpshooter Macey Gregg would get hot and stay hot, while the Lady Warriors ratcheted up the defensive pressure. LFO would outscore Adairsville 22-11 in the third quarter and 20-2 in the fourth to move on to the next round.
Williams and Gregg both finished with 23 points apiece. Anna Rountree had six points and Dekeia Rowe finished with five. Two points each by Ateana Copeland and Gracie Cochran, along with one point from Alesya McBurnett, rounded out the scoring.
LFO will play again on Thursday at 7 p.m. against fourth-seeded Sonoraville. The winner of that game will qualify for the state tournament and advance to take on top-seeded Ringgold on Friday night (7 p.m.) the semifinals.
As for the Ringgold boys, they owned a 25-15 advantage at halftime, only to see Adairsville reel off 10 unanswered points in the first three minutes of the second half to tie the game.
But Ringgold would finally right the ship and refused to let Adairsville take the lead. A big 3-pointer by Chandler Johnson with 14 seconds left in the period gave the host team a 34-29 lead at the end of third quarter.
The fourth quarter would continue to be a nail-biter as Ringgold held a slim 39-38 lead with two minutes to go in the period. But after tying Adairsville up on the defensive end to get the ball back on the alternate possession, Blake Goldsmith fired nearly a full-court pass to Logan Hullender, who came through with a huge 3-point play with 1:42 remaining.
Goldsmith would drive the lane on Ringgold's next possession and find Jackson House for a lay-up with 1:16 to play to increase the lead to six. Goldsmith and Cade Nayadley would hit both ends of a one-and-one's to stretch the lead to eight with 42 seconds to play and House would come up big on defense by partially blocking an attempted put-back by Adairsville with less than 30 seconds to go.
Hullender would seal the victory with two more free throws with 13.6 seconds to play.
Johnson had 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Hullender finished with 14 points and Goldsmith added six. Four points each by Nayadley, House and Dalton Green rounded out the scoring for Ringgold (12-14).
The Tigers will face fourth-seeded and Catoosa County rival LFO Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. in one of the biggest games ever between the two programs. The winner will advance to state tournament and will face top-seeded North Murray in Friday night's semifinals, while the loser will see its season come to a close.