For the first time in the Georgia Sports Writers Association/Kyle Sandy high school basketball rankings era, the Rockdale County girls basketball team has cracked the Top 10 in Class AAAAAAA.
After defeating Archer and Grayson in the same week, a first for any Rockdale team since the current Region 8-AAAAAAA alignment was created before the start of the 2016-17 season, the Bulldogs find themselves ranked No. 10 team in the classification.
The Bulldogs (15-4, 4-1), needed double overtime to defeat the Tigers on the road last Tuesday. Junior Shaquice May scored 19 points in the win while freshman Lia Edwards chipped in with 18, including a game-tying three-pointer to send the game into double OT.
Three days later, the Bulldogs earned their first-ever win over Grayson since the region’s inception, defeating them 59-55 on the Rams’ home court. Junior Alana Moore led the way with 19 points while May scored 15 in the win.
The Bulldogs overcame a 31-27 halftime deficit to score the victory over Grayson. Moore later gave the Bulldogs a 47-46 lead in the second half and Rockdale never trailed from that point forward.
Second-year head coach Sean Turley, who currently holds a 33-17 record at the helm, called their first-ever win against Grayson big for several reasons. The Bulldogs lost to the Rams in double OT in last year’s region championship.
“It’s always good to be in a good game like this,” Turley said. “Grayson coach (Robin) Potter is an awesome coach and she always prepares her team. It was a little redemption tonight. It’s a nice win for the ladies because they’ve been battle tested. It’s good to see that they’re maturing at a good time.”
Rockdale’s last loss on the season came at home against rival Newton on Dec. 13. A seven-game winning streak has followed since their only region loss this season, their longest winning streak under Turley.
The Bulldogs have found their success with a much-different group of players this season after graduating three starters from last year’s run to the state quarterfinals. Only May and Moore returned as starters this season.
Freshman Nylah Williams, Madison Presha and Edwards have all started games for the Bulldogs while senior Skylah Parker and junior Stephan Sellers have also contributed big minutes for the Bulldogs.