Red Level girls, boys earn area titles; Pleasant Home boys finish runner-up
Published 11:00 am Monday, February 13, 2023
Red Level defended its home court and claimed two area championships with a pair of intense comeback wins against Georgiana and Pleasant Home on Friday, Feb. 10.
Lady Tigers 77
Lady Panthers 73
The varsity girls overcame a 15-point halftime deficit and improved to 13-6 on the season with a 77-73 win over Georgiana in a triple-overtime thriller.
Elizabeth Cross put RLS on the board with a three-pointer. Mariah Crowell scored a basket for a 5-4 lead, but Nyeashia Thomas gave GHS a 7-5 lead after one. Cross added five more points in the second, while Summer Beverly also scored two for Red Level. Grace Lowery pushed the margin to 13-5 with a long three and scored eight points. Tar’nasia McMeans and De’keyah Peterson each added four as Georgiana took a 27-12 lead into the break.
The Lady Tigers roared back with a 21-point showing in the third. Kaitlyn Beverly made the score 31-20 with two free throws. Cross followed with a trey and then cut the deficit to 31-27 with another bucket. Crowell followed with a drive to the hoop and finished the frame with eight points. S. Beverly evened the score at 31-31 before K. Beverly made a layup for a 33-31 lead after three. Lillie Boggan and McMeans each scored two for the Lady Panthers. The action shifted back and forth in the final eight minutes of regulation.
Boggan made back-to-back baskets and gave Georgiana a 38-35 lead. Crowell came through in the clutch with seven straight points as Red Level took a 47-43 advantage. Boggan tied the game at 47-47 with a layup. K. Beverly then drained a trifecta, and Cross made two free throws for a 52-47 lead with 13.6 seconds left in the fourth. Lowery buried a three-pointer before Boggan forced a 52-52 tie with two shots from the line and sent the game into overtime.
Cross scored all six points for RLS, and GHS received baskets from Boggan and Thomas in the first overtime. Georgiana began the second overtime with an 8-0 run and grabbed a 66-58 lead. Cross and Crowell then trimmed the deficit to four before Peterson made a basket for a 68-62 lead. Crowell scored the next four points off two free throws and a layup until K. Beverly evened the score at 68-68. Boggan followed with a basket, and Red Level tied it at 70-70 with a jumper by Cross.
Beverly started the third overtime with a layup, and Crowell added two more free throws. Peterson went one-of-two at the line and brought the Lady Panthers within 74-73. Cross scored the final three points as the Lady Tigers held on for the area title.
Cross paced Red Level with 31 points and was followed by Crowell at 27. K. Beverly added 13 points in the win, while S. Beverly earned four. Boggan was the top scorer for Georgiana with 26 points. McMeans, Lowery, and Thomas also finished in double digits with 15, 13, and 11 points, respectively, in the loss.
The varsity boys battled county rival Pleasant Home and moved to 17-5 overall with a 93-89 win in a game full of offense on both ends.
Both teams came out firing in the first period and combined for 38 points. The Eagles took a 24-14 lead after one. Dillan Purifoy scored 12 points as Mason Anderson and Jackson Hawkins each added five points. Javen Poindexter led the Tigers with seven in the opening eight minutes. The offenses erupted again in the second as the lead changed hands. Poindexter grabbed 23 points in the frame and led all scorers, while Dominic Williams Jr. had four. Anderson notched eight and was followed by Purifoy at seven. Luke Gatewood also chipped in four points for PHS, but RLS held a 45-43 lead at halftime.
The two rivals continued to light up the scoreboard in the third. Malikye Wright and Anderson both buried a pair of three-pointers and finished with 10 points each just after the break. Poindexter made three baskets and two free throws as Gatewood tallied seven off three buckets. Pleasant Home retook the lead with a late three and carried a 68-66 advantage going to the fourth. Poindexter and Wright remained electric from the floor with 14 and 11 points, respectively, in the final period for Red Level. Anderson and Purifoy each garnered eight points.
Poindexter finished with 54 points for the Tigers and was followed by Wright at 25. Williams added six in the win as Caleb Padgett and Jamari Brown each earned four. Purifoy led the Eagles with 33 points, while Anderson had 31. Gatewood picked up 14 points, and Hawkins had seven in the loss.
Red Level will host Florala for two sub-regional games Tuesday, Feb. 14. The varsity girls begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the varsity boys at 7 p.m. Pleasant Home travels to Brantley for a 6 p.m. start the same night.