MOULTRIE – Just three days after being held to 36 points in a loss at Coffee on Tuesday, the Colquitt County girls basketball team turned in a season-high scoring performance in a 69-51 victory on Friday at Lowndes.
With the victory, the Lady Packers secured the No. 3 seed in the Region 1-AAAAAA tournament, which will begin on Tuesday on the William Bryant Court at the Gladys Espy Gymnasium.
Being the No. 3 seed also guarantees a berth in the state tournament, which will begin on Feb. 17.
Lowndes finishes No. 4 in the region and will play in Tuesday’s region tournament play-in game against No. 5 Lee County.
The region semifinals will be held at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday and the consolation and championship games will be played on Friday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively.
And the Lady Packers will take a two-game winning streak into the tournament by avenging last Tuesday’s loss with a 41-36 Senior Night win over Coffee at the Espy Gym on Saturday.
The Colquitt County boys trailed Coffee 43-27 heading into the final quarter.
The Lady Packers rode the scoring of freshman Za’Nautica Downs, who hit 8-of-11 3-point attempts and scored a season-high 31 points. She also had 11 steals.
Diamond Hall, another freshman, had 13 points and junior TaKerria Waters had 11 points, despite not playing the third quarter because of foul trouble.
Point guard Joneria Grant had seven points, but she, too, missed time after getting two quick fouls. Hall took over the ball-handling and played will, coach Rondesha Williams said.
The Lady Packers also held Taffany Smith, the Vikettes leading scorer, to just 13 points.
“Our kids really played well,” Williams said. “We put in a game plan and our kids executed it.
“And we played great defense on Taffany.”
Colquitt also got three points from freshman Kierra Lovett and two each from Felisha Bowman and Shi’Keriyah Felton.
While obviously pleased with the offensive performance of Downs, Williams was impressed with the steals as well.
“She plays both ends of the floor,” Williams said.
The Lady Packers have started two freshmen for at least part of the season, started by losing four of their first five games and were 0-2 after their first two region games.
Qualifying for the state tournament was not a given.
“A lot of people counted us out,” Williams said. “But we’re going to state.”
The Colquitt County boys were unable to hold on to a 12-point halftime lead and fell to the Vikings 68-57.
The Packers finish 1-7 in the region and will play Valdosta in the region tournament play-in game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Vikings are 4-4 in the region and are guaranteed a berth in the state playoffs.
Colquitt led 22-8 with 5:22 left in the half, but could not hold on.
Tyrese King led Colquitt with 17, 14 coming in the first half. Cameron Singletary and Sebastian Courtney each chipped in with eight.
On Saturday, the Lady Packers trailed Coffee by one when Waters picked up a loose ball and scored with 1:53 to put Colquitt up 35-34.
The Lady Packers never were headed the rest of the way and will take a 14-8 record into the tournament.
Downs led the Lady Packers with 13 points. Bowman added 10, Hall had eight, Waters had five, Grant had three and Felton had a basket.
The senior basketball players were honored between games. They are Grant, Bowman, Britni Marshall and managers Chaz Singletary and Nakia Johnson of the Lady Packers; Zay Lewis, Sebastian Courtney, Savonta Slaughter, Shaheem Ponder and managers Jalane Robinson and Cody Nicolas of the Packers; and cheerleaders Tarai Alexander, Ashlyn Hamilton, Valerie Hernandez, Kenosha Washington and Auburn Williams.