Vikettes win region basketball title

Feb. 16—VALDOSTA — After a tremendous season, the Lowndes High Vikettes got their shot at the 7A Region 1 title Thursday night. The last obstacle in the way was another regional powerhouse, Colquitt County.

Ultimately, the Lady Packers could not keep up with the Vikettes, leading to their third consecutive region championship for Lowndes High School by a narrow 47-43 score.

With a 1-1 record against each other for the season, the stakes were high. The Packers took their most recent matchup on Feb. 3, ending the Vikettes ' six-game winning streak. The two teams entered the championship game, playing their best in one of the closest games of the season.

The Vikettes started the game strong with inside points from Kayla Jackson and Kaci Demps. Colquitt County answered with a three-pointer from Jamya Moore, who would stayed a threat behind the line all game. The Vikettes played a solid game in the paint, barely pulling ahead of the Lady Packers in the first quarter.

Moore again shot a 3-pointer for the lead. However, Vikette Demps quickly answered with one of her own to take it back. The intense back and forth led to a quick first quarter, with Vikettes holding a slight lead of 12-10.

The second quarter would be much like the first, with both teams zeroing in on defense.

An inside dash into the paint from the Vikettes' Shamiaha Webb and a jumper from Aryana Thomas put the home team in a good spot with a six-point lead. Successful free throws from Colquitt County set Moore up again to shoot a clutch three-pointer, tying up the game 18-18 right before halftime.

The third quarter was when the game started ramping up, and the crowd started getting loud.

Continuing to play on the inside, the Vikettes racked up many points through layups and fouls. Colquitt took the lead halfway through the quarter with three-pointers from Amira Walters-Smith and Moore. Through points from nearly every Vikette player on the court, they still led going into the final quarter 30-29.

Lowndes slipped slightly in the final quarter, with sparse scoring from both sides. The Vikettes found themselves down by three points in the game's last three minutes. Kimora Wade and Jackson scored inside points to retake the lead, causing the crowd to erupt.

Jackson shot an incredible three-pointer to give the home side some breathing room, followed by an "and one" layup from Wade. Having little time to make anything happen, time ran out on Colquitt County.

The stands erupted, and the Vikettes took to the court as region champions with their trophy.

Lowndes will host a first round game in the 7A state tournament against Brookwood of Snellville, the No. 4 team from Region 4.