Jones County came into its Class AAAAA state tournament game against Warner Robins having lost its last two games (in the Region 4 tournament against teams it had split results with during the regular season).
Needless to say it probably didn’t come in riding a wave of confidence. Even less when the Demonettes jumped out to a 15-0 lead. They, Warner Robins, went on to win the quarter 19-7 and the game 49-34.
They also improved to 20-3 and ended Jones County’s year at 12-11. They will host Forest Park Thursday or Friday in the Sweet 16. The Lady Panthers are 20-5, the No. 2 out of Region 3, and beat Northside, Columbus Tuesday, 81-37.
As far as the Lady Greyhounds, they were able to close the gap between them and their host as the third got under way. They trailed 25-19 at the half but got the first bucket to start the third to make it 25-21.
Some of that was due to foul trouble by Warner Robins, not fouling, but being unable to make free throws. The girls started out well enough – they were 4-4 in the first quarter – but they went one-of-eight in the second and third and finished only two-for-nine. They also struggled from the field in the second, going only three-for-14. They got their stride back about midway through the third, going on a 6-0 run to end the period and led 36-26 heading into the fourth. There, they outscored Jones County 13-8.
Courtney Davis helped lead the Demonettes on offense. She finished with 12. Nevaeh Mack and Chaniya Felton each had 11 and Hayley Shepherd nine.
The Demons did not fare as well. At least where it counted. On the scoreboard. They actually controlled most of the game. Somehow it just slipped away in the end.
They, eventually falling 59-57, started off by scoring the first eight points. Locust Grove, their opponent, didn’t even get on board – it missed its first six shots – until about midway through the period (a pair of free throws).
It did draw to within two, 16-14, at the end of the quarter, but Warner Robins had it back out to eight, 24-16, about midway in. It went on to lead by 10, 32-22, at the break.
It stayed out front all of the third, leading by nine about midway in, 39-30. A late surge by the visitor, however, had it at 43-40 heading into the fourth.
The Wildcats then tied it at 45 with 6:30 left to play. They gained their first lead, 49-47, about a minute later. They pushed that to five, 52-47, before Cam Perkins hit a shot and Rashaun Tomlin (11 points) hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 52. Tomlin hit a free throw after. Vic Burley (13 points, tops for the Demons) hit a shot and Tomlin hit again. Those were as much in response to Locust Grove as to try and get back the lead.
They were successful with the first. Tomlin’s basket made it 58-57 with 53 seconds left to play. The Wildcats inbounded and managed to run the clock down to 22 before the Demons fouled. They had to foul again to send a Locust Grove player to the line. That came with 11 seconds. The player missed. Warner Robins grabbed the rebound and called timeout.
There was 5.8 left at that point. The Demons, on the second try to inbound it, turned it over. They were forced to foul. Locust Grove went to the line with about a second and iced it with one-of-two.
Warner Robins finished its year 13-12 while the Wildcats moved on at 14-11.