Yellow Jackets rain threes down on Northside in play-in victory

Feb. 14—THOMASVILLE — It was raining threes at Thomas County Central on Tuesday night as the Lady Jackets took down the Northside Eagles in their region tournament play-in game. Central didn't get off to the quickest of starts, but got out of their funk after going down 5-0. Marcy Pearson got things started with back-to-back threes, followed by a Tia Floyd three. It was back and forth all night between the Jackets and the Eagles and after the first quarter Central led 15-13.

Thomas County Central wasn't shy about shooting the three ball. It's something they have done well in the past and look for, according to Central head coach Stacy Masten.

"Whatever they allow us to do is what we try to do. We like to run a lot of sets to get them open. We do a lot of stuff offensively to make sure they get them open," Masten said. "We watch a lot of film, break it down and see where the defense is and how they rotate. We try to make sure we get those shots in that spot where they are weak at the best we can."

Central shot 43% from beyond the arc on Tuesday night, shooting a blistering 30 three-pointers. Senior Tia Floyd led the way, hitting eight threes on her way to 28 points in the game. Though Northside kept it close, Central was firing on all cylinders. The Lady Jackets had three scorers in double digits, nine assists as a team and 23 rebounds along with nine total steals.

Coming into the second half tied at 23, Jaida Pinkins and Floyd both knocked down threes to give Central a 34-28 lead. Northside refused to go away, however, and stormed back to make it a one point game headed into the final frame.

It was an extremely intense environment with the fans on their feet as these two squads went back and forth with an incredible amount of lead changes in the fourth quarter. Floyd came up big again with two threes in the quarter, including one with 1:30 left in the game to retake the lead. A break out pass for the score gave Central a four point lead in the final minute, but with 12 seconds left, Northside had cut it to two. They sent Pearson to the line, who was clutch from the charity stripe and hit both to ice the game. Central took the victory 65-61.

"Winning that game is really huge for us, especially for being as intense as it was. They showed a lot of resilience and fight," Masten said. "I was really proud of them for that, to be able to hang in there and fight through it and stay engaged in the game the whole game."