High School Sports

Undefeated team leads Columbus area schools into state basketball playoffs

Carver’s Olivia Cochran shoots during the Lady Tigers’ game against Hardaway at the Region 1-AAAA girls’ and boys’ tournament Feb. 8 at Carver High School in Columbus.
Carver’s Olivia Cochran shoots during the Lady Tigers’ game against Hardaway at the Region 1-AAAA girls’ and boys’ tournament Feb. 8 at Carver High School in Columbus. Special to the Ledger-Enquirer/Darrell Roaden

The Carver High School girls lead the Columbus area teams that qualified for the 2019 state playoffs. They are undefeated (27-0) and No. 2 in the Georgia High School Association Class AAAA rankings by MaxPreps, which puts Henry County (26-2) at No. 1.

Anson Hundley, who has been Carver’s head coach for eight years, isn’t certain, but he thinks this is the first time the program has finished the regular season undefeated.

“The girls have worked very hard all year long to achieve their success,” Hundley said. “When we started this year, we felt like we would have a good season, so being undefeated is an added bonus.”

The key to the team’s success, Hundley said, has been that hard work.

“We are a defensive-oriented team,” he said, “so I feel like our success comes from how aggressive we are on defense.”

Carver’s per-game statistical leaders are junior center Olivia Cochran (23 points and 7 blocks), senior forward Jailyn Shaw (12 rebounds) and senior point guard Janya Love-Hill (8 assists and 6 steals).

Last year, Carver went 29-2 and lost in the Class AAAA state semifinals 58-51 to eventual champion Spalding. The road back to the Final Four for the Tigers, the Region 1 first seed, starts Friday at 6 p.m. in the 32-team first round against Region 4 fourth seed Druid Hills.

Here is the complete schedule for local teams:

Friday at 6 p.m.

Class AAAAA girls: Woodland at Harris County.

Class AAAA girls: Woodward Academy at Hardaway; Shaw at Luella; Druid Hills at Carver.

Class AAA girls: Morgan County at Kendrick.

Class A public boys: Claxton at Chattahoochee County (winner plays at Marion County, which received a first-round bye; tentative date and time is Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m.).

Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Class AAAA boys: Druid Hills at Carver.

Class AA boys: Union County at Spencer.

Saturday at 5 p.m.

Class AAA boys: Kendrick at Crisp County.

Saturday at 6 p.m.

Class AAAAA boys: Harris County a Woodland.

TBA

Class A public boys: Manchester at Macon County.

Class A public girls: Marion County received a first-round bye and hosts the winner of Commerce at Emanuel County (tentative date and time is Feb. 20 at 5 p.m.).

ALABAMA

In the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 7A regional semifinals (the Sweet 16), the Central boys will play Enterprise 11:30 a.m. EST Thursday and the Central girls will play Jeff Davis at 1 p.m. EST Thursday. Both games will be at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery.

The Smiths Station boys will play Lee-Montgomery 2:30 p.m. EST Thursday in the Class 7A regional semifinals (Sweet 16) at the Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery.

The Russell County boys lost 60-42 to Helena in the 32-team Class 6A subregional Tuesday.

In the Alabama Independent School Association, the Glenwood boys received a first-round bye in the Class AAA tournament and lost Wednesday in the Elite Eight to Tuscaloosa. The Glenwood girls beat Pike Liberal Arts in the first round and played Tuscaloosa in the Elite Eight on Wednesday (result not available by deadline).

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.

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