The Lady Blue Devils, who had won four straight Region 7-AA titles heading into this week’s tournament, lost to fifth seeded Chattooga 65-54 at Rockmart High School, ending the team’s chances for a fifth consecutive championship.
“It hurts but the thing is, the season’s not over,” Echols said. “In adversity you have to respond, and we didn’t do a good job of that tonight within the game, but we have an opportunity tomorrow to respond. Tonight was Chattooga’s night, and they deserved to win.”
The Lady Blue Devils will get a chance to bounce back when they face Gordon Central in the third-place game today at 2 p.m. Chattooga, which is on a four-game winning streak, will face Rockmart in the championship game at 6 p.m.
The Lady Indians (14-14), who had lost to Model twice in the regular season, got the Lady Devils off balance early in the game leading 18-11 after the first period and pushing their lead to 30-18 at halftime.
“Our game is always defense first, and tonight we didn’t do that,” Echols said. “That was not our main focus. We had our focus and our heads in a lot of other places, and we didn’t respond as a team like we needed to.”
Chattooga struck from long distance several times in the game hitting six 3-pointers in the first half and finishing the game with 11.
Jacie Martin and Faith Ann Foster each scored 22 points to lead the Lady Indians, while Martin and Regan Broome each sank four 3-pointers. Broome finished with 13 points.
Model (19-7) was led by Montana Moats with 22 points and three 3-pointers. Madison Harper added 14 points, and Megan Kent scored 12.
Rockmart boys 53, Model 51, OT
The Model boys’ basketball team owned a six-point lead early in the fourth period, but Rockmart battled back and eventually came away with a 53-51 overtime win in the semifinals of the Region 7-AA tournament.
The win sends the Yellow Jackets to the championship game today at 7:30 p.m. against No. 2 seed Chattooga, while the Blue Devils will face No. 3 seed Coosa in the third-place game at 3:30 p.m.
“I don’t have anything to complain about,” Model head coach Jacob Travis said. “We’re better than we were a week ago, and we’ll be better next week than we were this week. We lost our cool two or three times and gave up a couple of mini-runs, and those were the difference in the game.”
Jabari Burge hit a basket to give the Blue Devils (12-13) a quick 47-45 lead in overtime, but Rockmart responded with Juke Boozer and Tyler Rowland hitting back-to-back buckets to give Rockmart a 49-47 lead. Four key free throws made by Sam Depew and Ty Floyd sealed the win for the Jackets.
Depew scored 19 points including three 3-pointers to lead the Yellow Jackets (16-8), Rowland finished with 10 points and was 5 of 6 from the free throw line, and Boozer and Floyd each scored nine points.
Model’s Jackson Mathis scored 10 points and was 3 of 4 from the free throw line, Jared Bomer scored 18 points and was 4 of 8 from the free throw line, and Burge finished with 14 points.
Rockmart girls 59, Gordon Central 53
Keyarah Berry nearly single-handedly defeated Gordon Central as she racked up 42 points in a 59-53 win at home to send the Rockmart girls’ basketball team to the championship game.
The second-seeded Lady Jackets (16-7) will face No. 5 seed Chattooga today at 6 p.m. No. 3 seed Gordon Central will go up against top-seeded Model in the third-place game at 2 p.m.
Berry was also 12 of 18 from the free throw line, and she sank two 3-pointers.
The Lady Warriors (13-9) were led by Mercedes Coleman with 32 points, including two 3-pointers and a 4-of-7 performance at the free throw line.
Chattooga boys 93, Coosa 66
The Chattooga boys’ basketball team rolled to a 93-66 win against Coosa on Friday in the semifinals of the Region 7-AA tournament at Rockmart.
The No. 2-seeded Indians will face top-seeded Rockmart in the championship game tonight at 7:30 p.m., while the third-seeded Eagles will go up against No. 4 seed Model in the third-place game at 3:30 p.m.
Devin Price scored 19 points to lead the Indians (16-10), while Tre Flowers added 18 points, and Jundraius Adams and Clayton Johnson each scored 10 points.
Coosa (16-9) was led by Sean Brown and Kenon Dixon with 13 points each.