Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

February 24, 2012

Lady Packers fall to Westlake in double-overtime

MOULTRIE —  Colquitt County threw a scare into Westlake in the first round of the Class AAAAA state tournament in Atlanta on Friday before falling to the Lady Lions 67-63 in double-overtime.

The Lady Packers had a chance to make it a two-possession game in the first overtime, but missed several key free throws.

Westlake then put the game away on their home court in the second overtime.

“That was the best we’ve played all year,” said Colquitt County coach Rondesha Williams. “Their coach (Hilda Hankerson) said that was the most competitive game they’ve been in this season.

“She said we had her worried.”

Westlake will take a 23-6 record into their second-round game against the Camden County-McEachern winner.

The Lady Packers finish 16-12.

Westlake guard Aisha Turner-Johnson controlled much of the game, Williams said, scoring 19 points, including a 3-pointer off the backboard in the closing seconds.

The Region 2 runner-up Lady Lions also got 15 points from 6-foot-3 Caron Brown.

The game featured two of the top guards in the state, with Colquitt County sophomore Makeba Ponder putting on a show and scoring a game-high 30 points.

Maranda Trim scored eight points, Kenisha Seay had seven and Kwante’sha Love had five.

All three are seniors playing their final game for the Lady Packers.

“Bird (Trim) also played great defense,” Williams said. “And Makeba played both ends.”

Ja’nice Sailor added seven, Natalie Griffin had four and Cheyenne Reynolds added two points.

Colquitt hit 23-of-34 free throws, but some misses in the first overtime hurt, Williams said.

“We did what we had to do, but we just fell a little short,” Williams said. “We just missed some key free throws at the end of the game.”

Williams said she was pleased with how her team progressed over the season. When it started, she said, the only veteran players were Trim and Ponder.

“At the start of the season, we were playing basically without a lot of experience,” Williams said.

But with Ponder, Griffin, Sailor and Reynolds back from this year’s Region 1-AAAAA regular-season co-champion back to form the nucleus, the Lady Packers should contend for a state tournament berth again next season.

“We’re going to take two weeks off and then we are going to get in the weight room and start pounding it again,” Williams said.

Region 1-AAAAA tournament champion Lowndes won its state tournament opener, defeating Luella 61-53 in overtime.

The Vikettes will play the Bradwell Institute winner in the second round.

No. 2-seeded Valdosta also advanced, defeating Newton.

The Lady Wildcats will advance to play the Beach-Harrison winner.

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