Region 5-AA tournament roundup: Kendrick girls, boys take home region titles

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 19, 2014 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Kendrick girls won the Region 5-AA championship on Tuesday over Manchester.

It shouldn’t even be a surprise that they won by so many points — a 99-20 final that kept the Lady Cherokees undefeated heading into the postseason for the second consecutive season.

The manner in which Kendrick won the game, though, should serve as a huge confidence builder for the No. 1 team in Class AA, which is trying to win its first state championship since 2008.

While senior star Kahlia Lawrence, who averages 26.8 points per game this season, still had an impressive night, she also played facilitator for her teammates for a large portion of the contest. Players like Taylor Farley and Deja Cheatham, among others, stepped up to confirm what coach Sterling Hicks already knew.

This isn’t a one-girl show.

“We’ve got a bunch of kids that can play,” he said after the game. “They’re confident. I’m confident in them. It actually makes the game easier when we don’t have to rely too much on Kahlia.

“We don’t want to have the best player. We want to have the best team. Fortunately, I think we have both.”

“We try to rely on everyone,” added Lawrence, who still led the team in scoring with a quiet 24 points. “We want to be able to rely on everybody. When I’m not playing well or (Cheatham) isn’t playing well, everyone can step up.”

Like Monday night, when the Lady Cherokees (26-0) went on a 31-0 run to start its game against Bowdon, they started Tuesday night’s up 39-2. It was 29-2 after the first, and Kendrick’s scoring run reached 35-0 before a free throw stopped the bleeding for Manchester.

By halftime, the only question remaining was how many the Lady Cherokees would win by and whether or not they could notch 100 points for the third time this season.

Four players were in double figures for Kendrick: Lawrence, Cheatham (20 points), Farley (15 points) and Donovan Dyson (13 points).

Cheatham got her 20 in just her second game back from a month-long absence due to injury. She iced her knee after the game, but said at this point in the year, it’s a matter of battling through the bumps and bruises.

“I just have to keep doing my exercises, whatever my trainer and Coach tell me,” she said.

Kendrick will host Model in the first round on Friday.

Girls consolation: Spencer 57, Bowdon 40

The Spencer girls earned the third seed out of Region 5-AA with a big victory over Bowdon in the consolation final on Tuesday at Kendrick.

They will travel to Region 7-AA’s 2-seed, which was not determined as of Tuesday night.

The trip to the playoffs is a first in five years for the Lady Greenwave, which has had its best season under coach Lamont Sheffield.

Spencer was led by Miora Elmore, who scored 26 points in the game. Tatyana Griffin added 17. Bowdon was led by Allie Phillips’ 12 points. Bowdon will be the 4-seed out of Region 5-AA.

Boys consolation: Jordan 64, Spencer 59

The Red Jackets earned the 3-seed out of Region 5-AA with a victory over Spencer in the boys consolation final on Tuesday at Kendrick.

They were led by a pair of scorers, Trey Thomas and Onte’ Harrison, who each notched 16 points in the contest. L.D. Jones added 12 and Kymon Knight 11 to help the cause.

Spencer’s Deondre Hubbard scored a game-high 18 points.

Jordan takes the 3-seed out of the region and will travel to Model in the first round. Spencer is the 4-seed and will travel to Calhoun.

Boys final: Kendrick 82, Manchester 80

Manchester’s final shot counted, but it still wasn’t enough.

Demarcus Addie knocked down a three-pointer from half court, but it came as the buzzer sounded and the Blue Devils trailing by five. It made the game closer, but Kendrick still came out on top.

The win gave the Cherokees the Region 5-AA tournament championship and the top seed out of the region in the Class AA playoffs. They will host Coosa in the first round. Manchester takes the 2-seed and will host Dade County.

Demarcus Addie scored a game-high 31 points for Manchester in the loss, followed by Jermaine Williams with 16. Jordan Hall scored 30 to lead Jordan, followed by Jontavis Miles with 21 and Kyle Scott Williams with 14.

Tuesday at Kendrick

Manchester 2 9 6 3—20

Kendrick 29 22 27 21—99

Manchester (20)

Owens 4, Dopeland 4, McGruder 3, Moody 3, Brown 3, Dunlop 2, Bell 1.

Kendrick (99)

Kahlia Lawrence 24, Deja Cheatham 20, Taylor Farley 15, Donovan Dyson 13, Thompson 7, Baker 5, Jack 4, Draper 4, M. Jones 4, A. Jones 3.

Next: Manchester, vs. Arnuchee at home in first round of state playoffs; Kendrick, vs. Model at home in first round of state playoffs.

Tuesday at Kendrick

Bowdon 13 4 8 15—40

Spencer 10 19 11 17—57

Bowdon (40)

Allie Phillips 12, Alanna Nunn 11, Montgomery 4, Buchanan 3, Brewer 2, Brown 2, Reese 2, Thompson 2, Wood 2.

Spencer (57)

Miora Elmore 26, Tatyana Griffin 17, Garrett 5, Price 4, A. Griffin 3, Walmsley 2.

Next: Bowdon, at Region 7-AA No. 1 in first round of state playoffs; Spencer, at Region 7-AA No. 2 in first round of state playoffs.

Tuesday at Kendrick

Spencer 15 5 16 23—59

Jordan 16 16 15 17—64

Spencer (59)

Deondre Hubbard 18, E Davis 9, S. Davis 7, Joeseph 7, Smith 5, Martin 4, Williams 3, Miller 3, K. Bush 3.

Jordan (64)

Trey Thomas 16, Onte’ Harrison 16, L.D. Jones 12, Kymon Knight 11, Palmer 5, Foster 4.

Next: Spencer, at Calhoun in first round of state playoffs; Jordan, at Model in first round of state playoffs.

Tuesday at Kendrick

Manchester 9 23 19 29—80

Kendrick 13 20 26 23—82

Manchester (80)

Demarcus Addie 31, Jermaine Williams 16, H. Campbell 12, Bobby Stephenson 10, Brown 6, Prather 3, Snelling 2

Kendrick (82)

Jordan Hall 30, Jontavis Miles 21, Kyle Scott Williams 14, Griffin 6, Bonner 6, Brown 4.

Next: Manchester, vs. Dade County at home in first round of state playoffs; Kendrick, vs. Coosa at home in first round of state playoffs.

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