LINDEN – The high seeds advanced through the first round of the Class 1A, Area 4 girls tournament Monday evening. Marengo High, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, opened with a thrilling 61-57 win over county rival A.L. Johnson.
In a game that saw Marengo open a nine-point lead early, Akayla McGhee continually pulled her team back into the contest. The sophomore pulled off a steal with 2:28 to play in the game and dished off to Dinecia McGhee for a layup to cut it to 57-52. She then hit a free throw and later connected on a put-back layup to make it 57-55. The Lady Eagles could pull no closer as LaKisha Lucy hit a free throw with 5.7 left to put the game away for Marengo. Lucy previously made a buzzer-beating three to end the third quarter and stretch the advantage to nine points.
Freshman J’Mya Hall paced Marengo with 27 points, eight steals and six rebounds. Iesha Bouler added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Kadijah Crispin added six points, 11 rebound and six steals.
Akayla McGhee spearheaded the effort for ALJ with 24 points and 25 rebounds. Danicia McGhee added 13 points and four rebounds. Ja’Lani Mair had nine rebound and five steals.
A.L. Johnson ends its season at 4-9. Marengo (6-12) heads to the title game Friday night where it will face top-seeded Linden.
Linden 66, Sweet Water 26
The Lady Patriots romped in their first round win over Sweet Water, downing the Lady Bulldogs 66-26. Linden relied upon its press to storm out of the gate to a 20-0 lead. Linden led 26-3 after one quarter of play and stretched the advantage to 47-11 at half. Linden played its starters sparingly after the first quarter.
Amber Richardson finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Tomysha Boykin had 20 points. Imiya Agee had six points and six assists. Dajia Miller had six points and five steals.
Sweet Water gave heavy minutes to all six of its players. Gabby Cassity led her team with 14 points including four three-pointers. She also had three steals. Skylar Robertson had 13 rebounds while Shakedra Brothers grabbed 12 boards.
Sweet Water finishes its season at 4-12. Linden (19-4) eyes an Area 4 title tilt with Marengo Friday.