ALPINE — Winterboro’s girls used a strong third quarter to eliminate Notasulga from the basketball postseason 52-24 Monday night.
With the win, the Bulldogs advance to the Southeast Regional where they will travel to take on Samson in Thursday’s semifinals at 6:30 p.m.
This is Winterboro’s first time advancing to the regional semifinals since 2016.
“We came out a little bit flat and I think we were out hustled a bit, but they picked it up in the third quarter and turned it on,” Winterboro head coach Marty Holland said. "We got the win, it may have been ugly but we will take it any way we can get it at this point.”
The Bulldogs took control of the game in the third quarter as they outscored the Blue Devils 19-3. Winterboro’s energy picked up after intermission as the Bulldogs picked up the pressure on the defensive end. They forced eight turnovers in the period. Holland’s crew also got going from behind the arc as they knocked down three 3-pointers including one by seventh-grader Katelyn Brown to increase their lead to 40-13.
“It started with hustle,” Holland. “We got in the press, we forced some turnovers and got some points. Our shots started falling a little bit. We began to rebound and pass the ball around. We began to play our brand of basketball.”
Brown led the way for Winterboro with 16 points, including 11 in the first half when she carried the load offensively.
“I feel like we played as a team,” Katelyn Brown said. “We played good defense, and we played good without my sister.”
The Bulldogs were without leading-scorer Kya Brown, a sophomore, again Monday. Brown has missed or played sparingly for the past week. Katelyn said that she received some motivation from her sister before the game.
“She said that I had to take over since she wasn’t here and that really put a lot of inspiration in me to do better,” Katelyn Brown said.
Holland said he received a positive report about Kya Brown and he hopes that she will be able to play in the regional semifinals against Samson.
“We are praying,” Holland said. “We got some good news on her on situation (Tuesday) so hopefully she will be back Thursday.”
With Brown out the lineup other players have stepped up. Brianna Jackson scored 11 points Monday, while Katelyn Jones chipped in nine points.