Red Level takes area runner-up with overtime loss at Georgiana
Published 1:00 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024
Red Level battled from the beginning and gave a valiant effort but fell 72-68 in overtime of the 1A Area 3 girls’ championship game at Georgiana on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
The Lady Tigers saw their record fall to 9-10. The Lady Panthers improved to 10-14 for the year.
“The girls came out and gave it their all tonight. To see them dig like that and fight in the environment we were in, I can’t take anything away from that. They played their hearts out, and people have doubted us all year. I’m really proud of them after nobody gave us a chance. We will continue to work and have at least one more to see if we can continue the journey,” RLS Head Coach Dominic Williams said.
Both offenses struggled in the early going until Nyeashia Thomas put Georgiana on the board with a bucket. Amaya Williams followed with a layup and tied the score. Alyssa Lee and Mariah Crowell pushed the lead to 6-2 with back-to-back drives to the hoop. Crowell swished a three for a 9-4 margin with 2:44 left in the first. Thomas and Lillie Boggan combined for the next seven points, but Lee made a layup and drew Red Level even at 11-11 after one.
The two teams went back and forth as Crowell began the second period with a jumper. After a basket by Boggan, Williams and Avea Feagin each earned four points on a pair of layups. Boggan scored the next six points and gave the Lady Panthers a four-point lead. However, Crowell had the final say of the half with a three at the buzzer and trimmed the deficit to 21-20 at the break.
The action remained tight after halftime as Boggan scored two baskets, and Lee made a pair from the line. Crowell tied the score at 25-25 on a free throw with 4:53 to go in the frame. After Ke’Mariah Crittenden scored her first point, Williams hit a three for a 29-27 lead. Thomas, Boggan, and Grace Bradley each found the hoop for two and gave Georgiana a 35-31 lead. Thomas then extended the margin to 38-33 with a jumper. Crowell converted a three-point play, while Lee made a layup as Red Level fought back to a 38-38 tie after three.
Boggan led off the fourth with a layup, and Crittenden earned a bucket with 5:57 to go in regulation. Thomas granted the Lady Panthers some breathing room with a 48-42 advantage, but the Lady Tigers were not denied. Crowell made two free throws and sank a three that cut the deficit to one with 2:18 left. Thomas and Feagin widened the margin to 52-47 until a three by Williams and a jumper from Crowell forced a 52-52 tie at the 1:22 point. Williams added another three for a 55-54 lead. Boggan had a three-point play, and Thomas put the score at 58-55 off a one-for-two showing at the line with 5.2 seconds remaining. Crowell then repeated her first-half buzzer-beater with another and sent the game to overtime all knotted up at 58-58.
Miracle Wright launched a quick three in the extra session, but Thomas had the next three points for a 61-61 tie. Lee made two free throws before Boggan earned the next five and built the Georgiana lead to 66-63. Crowell responded with a clutch three and sank two at the line as Red Level grabbed a 68-66 margin with 1:52 left in overtime. Boggan and Bradley closed out the game with six free throws for the final tally.
Crowell led the Lady Tigers with 35 points. Williams chipped in 15, and Lee notched 10. Boggan was named tournament MVP with 37 points for the Lady Panthers. Thomas and Feagin also posted double-digit efforts at 14 and 11, respectively.
The All-Tournament Team is as follows:
- Mariah Crowell – Red Level
- Amaya Williams – Red Level
- Avea Feagin – Georgiana
- Nyeashia Thomas – Georgiana
- Lillie Boggan – Georgiana (Tournament MVP)
“My team has come a long way with us being younger this year. I did my best to lead them and tried to set an example each time we stepped on the court. I feel like we gave it all we could and fought hard. I’m expecting us to win our sub-regional game, and this is another way to get back after it. It’s a lesson learned, and we will rebound in our next game,” Crowell said.
Red Level will travel to the Area 4 winner for its sub-regional game on Friday, Feb. 9, at 6 p.m.