The historical season continues for the Winder-Barrow High School Lady Bulldoggs.
WBHS (24-6) ventured to Columbus Friday and defeated Carver-Columbus 49-43 in the second round of the Class AAAAA state tournament. The Lady Bulldoggs held a nine-point lead at halftime but had to survive a second half which saw the host Lady Tiger regain the lead. WBHS trailed by five points with five minutes left in the contest.
The Lady Bulldoggs broke a state tournament drought this season which dated back more than two decades. WBHS earned a No. 4 seed from a strong Region 8-AAAAA. Regular season matchups with teams such as Flowery Branch, Gainesville and Loganville helped prepare Winder-Barrow for state play.
Leading 25-16 at halftime, the Lady Bulldoggs were outscored 17-6 in the third quarter before surging late for the victory. Olivia Nelson-Ododa finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds for WBHS while teammate Chellia Watson added 13 points. Jakayla Sullivan grabbed six boards.
Latrice Perkins added six points for the Lady Bulldoggs while Lexi Maddox scored four and Tiera Mayweather finished with two points.
Alexis Burns led Carver-Columbus with 19 points.
"The girls handled the adversity of losing the lead after having played so well against a team which pressured us the whole game," said coach Brandon Thomas. "We did a good job of handling their pressure. We had 18 turnovers but you would expect to have more than that against a team which pressured you so much."
Staying calm under pressure helped secure the win.
"We made the plays down the stretch," Thomas said. "We got our composure back after they rallied."
Winder-Barrow is now preparing for its Elite Eight matchup with Mays High School. The game will be played Thursday at Columbus State at 3 p.m., meaning a second trip to Columbus within a week. Mays defeated Grovetown 84-72 in another Sweet Sixteen contest and is 22-7 overall.
Additional updates will be posted on the Lady Bulldoggs this week and in the Barrow Journal's print edition on Feb. 24.