The regular season is nearly complete, but Sandy Creek has work left to do. The Patriots played regularly scheduled games on Friday and Saturday, then squeezed in a Monday night game leftover from the snow-cancelled weekend in early January.
The Lady Patriots (16-6 overall, 8-2 in region) responded to adversity, bouncing back from their first two region losses to rebound with a pair of key victories.
After starting region play 6-0, the Patriots lost on the road to Chapel Hill last week, 59-46, and Cartersville, 34-32, Friday night. The losses dropped the team out of first place in the region, with Chapel Hill sliding into the top spot. They bounced back with a 53-42 over LaGrange, a team tied for third place, Saturday and a Tuesday night revenge win, 48-46, over Chapel Hill that gets them back into a first place tie.
“I don’t think it was a lack of confidence. I think it was a lack of discipline and a lack of focus,” coach Janie Hodges said Monday night of what was behind the two-game slide. “It definitely showed that we were more focused later in the game tonight. We were disciplined in the principles that we’ve been coaching them in. If we can keep that going into the region tournament, we’ll be fine.”
Sandy Creek led through the first half, but Chapel Hill battled back in the third quarter. The Patriots, keyed by senior point guard Quaylia Stanton, held off the Panthers, Stanton sinking two free throws with 10 seconds left for the decisive margin and Morghan Currie grabbing a rebound off Chapel Hill’s final shot to seal the win.
“The last couple games we haven’t been able to finish. Tonight, we finished strong, and we got a win,” said Hodges. “Chapel Hill is a good team. We can’t take anything away from them. The ball fell for us a little bit more than for them.”
The Sandy Creek boys (16-6, 8-2) fell in overtime 94-88 to Cartersville Friday night, but bounced back with an 85-63 romp over LaGrange and a 74-47 pasting of Chapel Hill.
Against Cartersville, the Patriots scuffled through three quarters against the fellow top ten Hurricanes, trailing 62-52 heading into the fourth. They surged for 28 points to force overtime, but came up short in a game dominated by the officials. KJ Wilkins led the way with 24 points, Evan Jester posted 22 points, Eric Williams added 11 points and 13 rebounds, and TJ Bickerstaff contributed 10 points.
Creek got revenge for a loss earlier in the season with a dominating win against LaGrange. Wilkins posted 22 points, Jester tallied 20 points, Bickerstaff put up 14 points and 17 rebounds, and Jarred Godfrey dropped 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Patriots made quick work of Chapel Hill behind 25 points from Bickerstaff, 22 points and 15 rebounds, from Jester, and 11 points from Godfrey.
LaGrange currently leads the region at 9-1, with Sandy Creek in second at 8-2 and Cartersville in third at 7-2. Cartersville hosts LaGrange Thursday night.
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