High School Sports

High school notes: Columbus, Northside to host second-round state softball playoff series

With the Columbus softball team’s Region 2-AAA championship, coach Ron DiQuattro got all he asked for from his team. Then his players wanted him to live up to his promises.

“At the end of last year, I promised them I’d pierce my ear if we won region,” DiQuattro said. “I had forgotten about it until we had a little team party and a couple of the girls came out with a little piercing gun.”

The earring didn’t last long, however. DiQuattro said he wore it to school but took it out after only a day.

The Blue Devils host Woodland in a second-round, best-of-three playoff series beginning with two games today at Columbus State. The coach said he might consider another wager if his team continues playing well.

“I’m not quite sure what the next bet will be if we make it any further,” he said. “We’ll have to see what they come up with.”

Not knowing who its next Class AAA playoff opponent would be didn’t slow the Northside softball team this week.

“It’s not about who we’re playing; it’s about how we’re playing,” Northside coach Chera Riles said. “It doesn’t matter what team we play, as long as we’re playing how we need to.”

The Patriots finally found out its next opponent Thursday night. Mary Persons upset Perry in Game 3 of their series. So that means Northside will host Mary Persons in a second-round series starting today at 5 p.m.

The Patriots have had all the pitching they’ve needed this season from starter Haley Love . The team now is focused on improving its hitting, said Riles, who reached 100 wins as the Northside varsity coach earlier this season.

Columbus-Kendrick ppd.

Heavy rain that moved through Columbus about 6 p.m. Thursday forced a postponement of the Columbus-Kendrick football game that was scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday. It will be the second game that day at Kinnett. Northside and LaGrange will play at 1 p.m.

Jordan wins via forfeit

The Jordan football team picked up a Region 5-AA win when Macon County was forced to forfeit a pair of its victories.

The Bulldogs’ penalty came after the team self-reported using an academically ineligible player in two games in September, according to Georgia High School Association media relations director Steve Figueroa. The GHSA could not disclose more details, he said.

Jordan lost 19-6 to Macon County on Sept. 11 but has been credited with a 1-0 victory. Macon County also had to forfeit a 32-29 victory over Dooly County on Sept. 4.

McCluskeys out of lineup

The Brookstone football team will have to go at least one more week without two McCluskeys in the lineup.

Senior tailback Milton McCluskey injured his back Sept. 4 in the first half against Chattahoochee County and has not played since. But he is making progress, Cougars coach Blair Harrison said.

“He won’t be back (today), but he might get a couple of plays next week,” Harrison said.

Junior linebacker Brewton McCluskey is out for the season, Harrison said. The junior injured his back during a preseason game against Northside but is expected to return next season, the coach said.

“We hope (Brewton) will be back next year,” Harrison said. “If he doesn’t come back, it shouldn’t have anything to do with the injury.”

Swanier gets WNBA title

Ketia Swanier finally got her championship.

The former Columbus basketball player reached the state title game in high school and made it to the NCAA final four as a player at Connecticut but left empty-handed. Last Friday, Swanier’s Phoenix Mercury won the WNBA championship with a Game 5 victory over the Indiana Fever.

“Reflecting back, I’m really just speechless,” Swanier said. “Growing up, playing basketball, this was my dream. … My senior year of high school, I got to the championship game, then I went to UConn and got to the final four, but I didn’t win. To go through all those ups and downs and to finally have a championship, it’s a dream for me.”

Swanier did not play in the decisive Game 5, but logged 27 minutes through the first three games of the series. She totalled five points and had two rebounds.

She spent part of Wednesday at Fort Benning, visiting elementary school students, but she won’t be around long. Swanier leaves next week for Turkey, where she will play for Tarsus Belediyesi.

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