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Screven faces No. 1 McIntosh

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Screven faces No. 1 McIntosh

            SYLVANIA – Heading into the 2012-13 season with a young team that lacked varsity experience, things didn’t start well for the Screven County Lady Gamecocks. Screven dropped seven of its first eight games to begin the season, but coach Roy Cooper got his squad turned around and caught fire down the stretch.

            The Gamecocks (9-16) finished the regular season strong, the defeated Harlem in a Region 3-AA play-in game to advance to the region tournament quarterfinals. Needing one more win to make it to the state playoffs, Screven County scratched out a 38-35 win over East Laurens.

            “I’m proud of how our girls have responded this season,” Cooper said. “We’ve had our challenges, but we never stopped working hard. I think that we have a team full of girls that just really enjoy playing the game. That shows in the strides that we’ve taken.”

            It will take a big stride for the Gamecocks – who grabbed a No. 4 state seed – to keep their season going as they square off against No. 1 seed McIntosh County Academy (21-6). The Lady Buccaneers cruised to a perfect record in Region 2-AA play before also sweeping through their region tournament.

            Even more impressively, McIntosh is currently riding high on a 14-game winning streak.

            If Screven County wants to pull the upset, it will likely have to rely on star senior guard Courtney Roberts. A 1000-point scorer in her SCHS career, Roberts was asked to take more control of the offense this season. Roberts is now depended on to play point guard and set up the attack, but is still the Gamecocks’ biggest scoring threat.

            “We’ve asked a lot of Courtney,” Cooper said. “It has altered how she gets her shots a little bit, but we were confident that she could still produce.”

            Also leading the charge for Screven County are sophomore Shakinah Rollins and junior Reshea Edwards.

            Undoubtedly, it will take a big effort from all three – along with the rest of the Gamecocks – to knock off the Buccaneers.

            “We know it’s a little bit of a different story in the state playoffs, but I think that we’re ready,” Cooper said. “We’ve gone up against some very, very good teams throughout the season. We know what it takes to play with talented opponents. It’s just a matter of playing our best game.”

            The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the Sweet Sixteen where it will face either Pelham or Northeast Macon.


            Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.


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