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At the beginning of the season, head coach Steven Shedd and the Banks County Lady Leopards’ first goal was to win the Region 8-AA championship. After Friday night’s 48-37 win over Elbert County, the Lady Leopards can check goal one off the list.
The Lady Leopards (24-5) claimed the program’s first region championship since 1980. The Lady Leopards also secured home-court advantage through at least the first two rounds of the Class AA state playoffs, which begins next Friday. Their opponent is still to be determined.
“The girls wanted to win it for everyone that came before them,” Shedd said. “I feel like tonight they were just not going to lose.
Jaycie Bowen led the way for the Lady Leopards with 14 points. Maddie Thomas followed closely with 12 points including three-straight 3-pointers in the third quarter. Amber Williams scored nine points and Allison Smith scored eight points, all of which came in the fourth quarter. Kailynn Gilstrap added five points.
The region championship Bowen was a part of was the Lady Leopards’ softball team’s triumph last October, which she called the feeling “crazy.”
“This one was more like, ‘Yeah, we’re meant to be here,'” Bowen described. “We had tough opponents on our way (to) here and they were tough to play against, but I think throughout playing as a team, playing as a family, playing as sisters and for each other, is the way we made it to this region championship.”
For a playoff preview and more on the Lady Leopards’ region championship, read this week’s edition of the Banks County News.