With one swift blowout victory, the red-hot Bowdon High School girls' basketball team has now taken control of first place in Region 6A-A.
Hosting Christian Heritage in a late-season battle of the two top teams in the sub-region on Tuesday night, the No. 8 Red Devilettes dominated the visiting Lady Lions in a 76-58 rout.
Even with senior forward Rylee Robinson being double-teamed for the entire first quarter, Bowdon (19-4, 10-1 Region 6A-A) still managed to physically and athletically upstage Christian Heritage (18-5, 10-1) on both ends of the court early, doubling-up the Lady Lions for an 18-9 lead to end the first quarter.
The lead continued to grow for the home team in the second as it relentlessly hammered the ball inside to bigs Robinson, Tanesha Kirk and Tavania Gay. With the CH defense focusing more inside, the outside game opened up for Bowdon as Maci Holloway drained a trio of 3-point shots within the quarter. Bowdon entered halftime with a 39-25 advantage.
The third quarter turned into a showcase for Dasia Wyatt, as the sophomore guard disrupted the CH offense with steals that eventually turned into fast-break lay-ups. Wyatt would finish with a game-high 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists as Bowdon cruised to its most important regular-season victory to date.
In the last meeting between the two region-leading ballclubs, the Red Devilettes fell short in a 64-62 nail-biter. The difference this time around, according to head coach Remonica Stephens, was cutting down the number of fouls.
"We didn't get in foul trouble and were able to keep our girls on the floor," Stephens said."Our girls kept their composure throughout the entire game. They got after it on defense and we didn't let (Kelsey Schneller) find her shot in the second half, which was huge."
The head coach also cited how Christian Heritage focusing on the senior tandem of Holloway and Robinson allowed for Wyatt and other underclassmen to contribute heavily in the big win.
"Dasia was crashing the boards and hitting big 3s," Stephens said. "I think sometimes people decide to focus on Rylee and Maci, but with Dasia hitting big shots, it was hard for them to make a decision."
The Red Devilettes will close the regular season this Friday with a 6 p.m. rivalry showdown with Mount Zion. After that, they will play host to next week's region tournament where they stand in an envious position heading in.
"With the sub-region split, if we finish first then we'll have Monday off," Stephens said. "If our numbers and where we're ranked are where we think they should be, then we should be in a pretty good spot."
Christian Heritage boys 73, Bowdon 56: The painful January stretch came to a close for the Red Devils (7-16, 0-11) on Tuesday with a 17-point loss to No. 10 Christian Heritage (21-2, 9-2).
The Red Devils tried to keep pace with the Lions early, but couldn't get shots at the rim to fall. Meanwhile, Sam Dindoffer and his CH teammates continued to bury trey after trey to take a 34-14 lead into halftime.
CH would continue its onslaught in the second half to hand Bowdon its 11th straight loss, keeping it winless in Region 6A-A action.
"They have a lot of size on us, so we tried to slow them down with the zone. It kind of worked, but they got hot and started hitting a lot of 3s. We had a lot of bunnies that weren't falling early and that put us behind for the rest of the game," Bowdon head coach David Bramble. "One thing I appreciate is the fight and how we kept playing. It's been a tough season with a bunch of bad breaks, but they have kept playing and I'm proud of that."
The Red Devils will close the regular season this Friday with a 7:30 p.m. battle versus Mount Zion.
"Those games over the last couple of years have been really close," Bramble said. "We're expecting a big crowd on top of it being Senior Night, so we want to send the seniors off on a good note."