SNELLVILLE -- Tied at 15 early in the second quarter, it was clear from that point forward that the Rockdale County girls were done messing around with the fifth-seeded Shiloh Generals with a playoff berth on the line in the first round of the Region 8-AAAAAAA tournament.
An Alana Moore layup re-gained the lead for Rockdale and the fourth-seeded Bulldogs never looked back en route to a dominant 59-34 win over the Generals, clinching a spot in the state tournament for the second straight year under head coach Sean Turley.
The Bulldogs (19-7) out-scored the Generals 24-4 in the second quarter alone and did not allow another basket following the 15-all tie for the next nine minutes.
“They got dialed in and they really started playing well,” Turley said with a smile on his face. “They started having that faith and confidence in one another. They picked each other up and got it going in a good way.”
Junior standout Shaquice May led the way for Rockdale with a game-high 22 points. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer on the season drilled four three-pointers on the afternoon and dished out four assists, all to freshman Nylah Williams.
Turley thinks May is locked in ahead of Friday’s semifinals.
“I’m hoping that she really likes Shiloh and these rims,” Turley said. “When she’s set in position and her feet are up under her, she’s a knockdown shooter.”
Three of May’s three-pointers were the result of Moore assists. While May’s running mate had a quiet scoring day against the Generals, Moore did her best to assist her teammates and wreak havoc on the defensive end, much like several of her teammates.
The Bulldogs caused 20 turnovers in the second and third quarters and held the Generals to just 5 of 23 shooting (22 percent) during that stretch.
With the win, Rockdale advances to the semifinals and will face No. 1 seed Grayson. After splitting with the Rams in the regular season, Turley said he is ready for the challenge Friday evening with a spot in Saturday’s region championship on the line.
“I feel like we match up well with pretty much everybody if we play our style,” Turley said. “Not to take anything away from these great teams that are out here, but right now the battle is really with us. As long as we’re staying focused and dialed in on what we need to do, I think the girls have a good shot against any team.”
Freshman Lia Edwards joined May in double figures with 15 points, as did Williams, who scored 10. Shiloh leading scorer Chae Harris led the Generals in scoring with 11 points, seven of which were scored in the first quarter.
The Generals’ season comes to an end at 6-16.