On their home court, the No. 2-seeded Lady Yellow Jackets outlasted No. 5 seed Chattooga 70-59 in overtime for Rockmart’s first region title since 1961.
“I was very proud of the girls. It’s been a long time for this program,” Rockmart head coach Tim Puckett said. “The girls bend but they don’t break.”
Keyarah Berry racked up 40 points to lead the Lady Jackets, finishing with 82 points in the two games played in the region tournament. The sophomore, who scored her 1,000th points earlier this season, is optimistic as the team carries the No. 1 seed into next weekend’s Class state tournament.
“It was hard but I play for my team and I’m glad we got the win,” Berry said. “We’re expecting to meet some hard teams, but we’re going to fight and try to win state.”
After a 57-57 tie at the end of regulation, Berry and Megan Little, who were named to the All-Region first team, teamed up in the overtime period to seal the win for Rockmart.
Berry opened the period with two free throws and a long-distance 3-pointer, then Little made two free throws to put the Lady Jackets up 64-59. Berry finished out the period with back-to-back buckets and two free throws for the final. Little finished with 19 points including five 3-pointers.
“Keyerah and Megan played tremendously,” Puckett said. “They did a great job offensively. At that moment, once we got into overtime, that’s when we really took control of it. Overall they did a heck of a job.”
Chattooga, which was playing in its first region title game since 1988, was led by All-Region first team member Faith Ann Foster with 24 points including four 3-pointers and Regan Broome with 11 points and 3 3-pointers.
Other members on the All-Region first team were Megan Kent, Montana Moats and Nia Allen of Model; Maycy Owens of Pepperell; and Player of the Year Mercedes Coleman of Gordon Central.
As the No. 1 seed in next week’s state tournament, Rockmart will host Region 6-AA’s Washington, and Chattooga will host Therrell.
Model girls 53, Gordon Central 44
The Model girls’ basketball team locked up the No. 3 seed in next week’s Class AA state tournament with a 53-44 win against Gordon Central on Saturday in the third-place game of the Region 7-AA tournament at Rockmart.
Model led the Lady Warriors 17-12 at the end of the first period and entered halftime with a 32-20 lead, but pushed its lead to as many as 18 points in the final period.
Megan Kent led Model (20-7) with 22 points, Madison Harper scored 12, and Montana Moats added nine points.
Mercedes Coleman led Gordon Central (13-10) with 17 points, while going 3 of 5 from the free throw line.
Gordon Central will travel to face Douglass-Atlanta, from Region 6-AA, in the opening round of state, and Model will face K.I.P.P. on the road.