JMA girls fall to FPD, boys beat MDS for third

Feb. 16—MACON — After splitting their regular season meetings, the John Milledge Lady Trojans (18-4) and FPD Lady Vikings (24-3) were looking to settle the score in their region championship matchup Friday.

Trailing almost the entire first half, the top-seeded Lady Vikings kept their heads in the game and played extremely well down the stretch to win 49-40 at Stratford Academy, host of the GIAA District 6 tournament.

The loss ended No. 2 John Milledge's bid to three-peat as region champs.

Head coach Jeremy Mayweather's senior-heavy Lady Trojan lineup held the upper hand early with Jordan Prestridge knocking down a 3-pointer on the night's first possession when her man left her open to double down in the post. JMA's good vibes continued despite hitting a great deal of adversity late in the first when senior leading scorer and deadly deep threat Maggie Prestwood was whistled for her third foul. Up 11-6 at that point, the John Milledge girls were able to keep the pressure on thanks to junior Kylie Steinmeyer, who provided a huge spark off the bench. She hit a buzzer-beater down on the baseline to make it 13-8 JMA after one and kept her hot streak going with seven more points in the second, including shots to take back and extend the Lady Trojan lead. FPD battled as the quarter wore on though, forcing a 22-all tie at halftime.

John Milledge was having to contend with FPD's Wasden sisters, senior post Elly and sophomore guard/forward Faith. Their height was a factor all game long and, along with a Bowen Matthews 3 from the right wing, allowed the Lady Vikings to seize control in the third quarter. Their lead stretched to 10 by period's end. Meanwhile, Prestwood was hit with her fourth foul on a call that had the Trojan fans up in arms. She would foul out with 3:39 to go in the game and her team down seven on another call the JMA crowd didn't like.

Down, but not ready to quit, the Lady Trojans closed the deficit down to three with 2:10 remaining on a Calah Foston and-one in the low post. F. Wasden had the answer though, thanks to a floater in the lane down on the other end. The Lady Vikings sealed the victory with solid defense and good free-throw shooting until the clock hit all zeroes.

The John Milledge girls now await the final power rankings that will determine their seeding for the Class AAA state tournament. The Lady Trojans were third heading into Friday's region championship. The top four teams in the rankings receive a first-round bye.


The JMA boys lost Thursday's semifinal to Tattnall Square 55-50, marking the first time in a long time that the Trojans weren't playing for a region title.

Some of that disappointment may have carried over into the third-place consolation game against Mount de Sales Friday as the John Milledge boys struggled against the Cavaliers' zone defense early. The Trojans, down a starter in DJ Lundy due to injury, were trying to make passes through too many opposing arms in the lane, leading to turnovers.

Mount de Sales led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, but JMA scratched and clawed its way back to enter the fourth down just one point.

The contenders started a whole new ballgame at 48-48 with just three minutes to play. Trailing by one with under a minute remaining, John Milledge got the go-ahead bucket when senior Jalan Butts freed himself up on the inside to make it 53-52 Trojans with 35 seconds left. Later after both teams somehow squeezed in empty possessions, the Cavaliers had the ball last looking to steal the victory on a last shot. The ball found its way to the corner for what looked to be an open three, only it wasn't thanks to the quick closeout and game-ending block by sophomore Isaiah Johnson, cementing third place for the John Milledge boys.

Like the girls, they await their final power ranking. They were sixth in the latest poll, likely setting themselves up for a first-round state playoff game at home.