Four players in double figures helped propel the Winder-Barrow High School Lady Bulldoggs to a region victory Tuesday, Jan. 28, against visiting Gainesville.
WBHS (15-9 overall, 5-4 GHSA Region 8-AAAAAA) secured the No. 3 seed for the upcoming region tournament with a 65-55 Senior Night triumph against the Lady Red Elephants.
Taniyah Parrish finished with a team-high 18 points, all but two of which came in the second half. Kiona Lindsay added 17 points, with 15 of her points coming in the first two quarters. Keonna Hamler contributed 14 points while Keirsten Jackson added 11.
“This was a good win and a needed win,” said Lady Bulldoggs coach Kimberly Garren. “We got into early foul trouble and that makes me nervous. It was an oddly called game (by the officials) but it was both ways.”
Even if WBHS defeats Dacula High School on the road Friday, Jan. 31, it would take other upsets for the Lady Bulldoggs to move up to second place.
In the win Tuesday, WBHS trailed 14-13 after the first quarter but used a 20-9 run in the second quarter to lead 33-23 at halftime. The Lady Elephants (8-15, 3-6) continued to trail by 14 points after the third quarter.
A basket by Parrish with 5:40 remaining in the contest gave the Lady Bulldoggs a 56-44 cushion. Hamler then added a three-pointer to push the advantage to 59-44.
Gainesville made two baskets from three-point range in the final minute to make the final deficit 10 points.
Garren said Hamler has played well in recent games. Her performance this week followed a strong outing in a region win against Habersham Central.
Once WBHS realized it likely would be not one of the top two seeds, Garren said taking the third seed was ideal for the Lady Bulldoggs.
“In looking at it, that is our best chance to get to state,” the coach said.
While Dacula defeated WBHS earlier this season in convincing fashion, Garren said WBHS will go into the road game on Friday, Jan. 31, going all out to win.
“We are going to prepare the next two days to beat them,” Garren said. “We had a good game plan going into the first game against them but they jumped on us early. We did not show them our best game and best effort last time.”
Following the regular season finale against Dacula on Friday, the Lady Bulldoggs will look to the region tournament which will be hosted by Gainesville, starting Thursday, Feb. 6.