The third-seeded Red Devilettes (16-10) saw their season come to a close in an 81-48 setback in the second round of the Class AA state playoffs at top-seeded Calhoun (26-1), ending the prep careers of Jacole Stephens, Sydney Boddie, Trinity Strickland, Lyric Maze, Jena Lane and Whitney McClure.
“It was emotional. Like I told the girls, we’re not upset for losing. The game is played and you win or lose. Once it ends, it ends. Like coach [Marcie] Brown told them, this is a new beginning. That’s how they’ve got to see things. I think we’re all in a pleasant spirit, I guess you could say. We’re just happy about what we’ve came from,” Remonica Stephens said.
And what Bowdon came from was a two-win team three seasons ago to a 16-win ball club in 2012-13 — one that reached the round of 16 in Class AA, something that can never be taken from this group.
“They have defied odds this year. We’re proud of that. They’ve grown up as young ladies and matured so much. I’ve been around most of these kids all their lives. I’ve known most of them through rec and middle school. And to have the opportunity to be with them again is great. It’s hard to beat,” Remonica Stephens said.
In other state playoff action from Friday:
No. 1 Southwest DeKalb girls 68, No. 2 Villa Rica 37: The Lady Cats (22-9) gave coach James Bailey a memorable first year in charge of the Villa Rica girls’ program in 2012-13, and the former Cat star was more than grateful for the opportunity to lead the program back to the state playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
And even though it was tough to say good-bye following Friday night’s Class AAAAA second-round loss in Decatur, Bailey said his seven seniors — Rhianna Warren, Britney Wright, Shamaya Evans, Angericka Colbert, Kisha Simpson, Shatoria Farmer and Carli Roberson — left everything on the court.
“They really worked hard for me this year. They bought in as we started a whole new program and grasped the way of playing the way I like to play. They just took off with it. I think it was to their benefit. They’re a great bunch of girls and I am very happy and very pleased to be able to coach them and to have the success that we had this year,” Bailey said.
No. 1 Wesleyan girls 75, No. 2 Bremen 27: The Lady Blue Devils (22-7) ran into a defensive juggernaut in the top-ranked and four-time defending state champion Lady Wolves (25-4) on Friday in Peachtree Corners, as Bremen coach Kathy Matthews said the defensive pressure got the best of her ball club in the Class AA second-round setback.
“They’re a very, very good defensive team. They started out pressuring us full court. We just turned the ball over and they were able to get easy shots off of that. They basically just controlled the game from the start,” Matthews said.
The season-ending setback closed out the careers of Bremen’s nine seniors — Jordan Hill, Kalia Johnson, Jamia Johnson, Kayleigh Medlin, Kayla Chapman, Ashlyn Clay, Mylee Conner, Morgan Ross and Jessica Golden — including Hill, a four-year starter that wraps up her amazing prep playing days with more than 1,500 career points.
“It was a sad time, but I told them it definitely wasn’t the way I wanted them to go out. They deserve to go out on a higher note than that, but it can’t take away from all they’ve accomplished this season,” Matthews said. “As far as we know, they have the most wins in a season by a girls’ basketball team in Bremen, finishing second in a very tough region and being the first-ever girls’ basketball team at Bremen to win the Haralson County Christmas Tournament. You can’t take that away from this bunch. They’ve worked hard and deserve every bit of it.”