Lady Chiefs’ journey to the State Championship

After a runner-up finish in the region tournament against River Ridge, the varsity girls basketball team began their journey to state as the second seed in the seventh region.  

Their first game in the state tournament was a home game against East Paulding, which they won 56-35. In the second round, they played at Houston County, winning 49-39. In the third round, better known as the Elite Eight, the team returned home for a matchup against Bradwell. The students piled into the student section to support the players as the team sought to go to the Final Four. The team won by a score of 53-44. Senior Susanna Rogers offered her take on the game’s outcome. 

“The Elite Eight game was definitely the most fun because the boys and girls teams both got to play that night,” Rogers said. “I had never seen the War Lodge so full before; it was so fun to play in front of that many people. I’ll never forget the scene!” 

The team advanced with their boys’ counterpart to the Final Four at the University of West Georgia. It was the first time in Cherokee County history that both the girls and boys basketball teams from the same school advanced to the Final Four in the same season. The girls team played after the boys on Saturday, Mar. 5, against the Kell Longhorns and won by a close score of 40-38. 

After their win at West Georgia, the girls advanced to the state championship for the first time since 1996. The team faced Lovejoy at the Macon Coliseum, but their state journey ended after a loss with a final score of 54-38. 

Rogers and junior Elle Blatchford were the top impact players for the team in the state championship. Rogers scored a total of 10 points and had 12 rebounds, and Blatchford had a total of 8 points and 5 rebounds. 

“The journey to state was such a special journey for me especially with it being my senior year. Throughout the regular basketball season there was not a lot of competition for our team except when we would play River Ridge,” Rogers said. “After we lost to River Ridge again in the region championship, I was defeated and upset that in second for the second year in a row; however, little did I know that we would be given a great state tournament schedule to make a huge run.” 

Overall, the team ended their season second in the region with a record of 24-8 and a trip to the state championship. 

Round 1  East Paulding  56-35 W 
Sweet 16  @ Houston County  49-39 W 
Elite 8  Bradwell Institution  53-44 W 
Final 4  Kell @University of West Georgia  40-38 W 
State Championship  Lovejoy @Macon Coliseum  54-38 L