QUITMAN — The Brooks County Lady Trojans advanced to the Elite Eight of the GHSA playoffs following a 56-52 victory over the Southwest Macon Patriots Tuesday night.
The second round matchup was exciting, as the two teams swapped the lead on eight separate occasions.
Brooks County Jasmine Mapp secured her team’s trip to the next round by converting two clutch free throws to put the game out of reach with only seconds remaining in the final quarter.
Brooks County Head Coach Lamar Thomas has never been this far in the post season and thanks the home crowd for helping him reach the milestone.
“That’s our sixth man,” said Thomas. “That’s the advantage of having home court. We got the principals, board members, family and friends that helped us push. We have a lot of fan support and everybody is really pushing us as much as we can go.”
The first quarter of this competition began slowly on the offensive side for both teams. Mapp eventually earned Brooks County’s first points on an easy fast break lay-up minutes into the quarter.
The Lady Trojans went down by four points towards the end of the first quarter after Southwest Macon forward Deundra Stubbs converted on a strong attack to the basket.
The four-point deficit was Brooks County’s largest of the game.
With a minute remaining in the first quarter, Mapp snagged the defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup, which gave the Lady Trojans momentum heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter continued the battle between both teams and the Patriots took the lead again early in the period.
Mapp dominated the paint in the quarter, recording six points in down low while giving her team a three-point lead, 20-17, with six minutes remaining in the half.
The Lady Trojans lost their slim lead once again when Southwest Macon forward Alexia Pennimon converted a putback shot.
Brooks County, which was 12-0 in region play this season, was on the verge of elimination, trailing 25-22 at the half.
Lady Trojan point guard Carrie Grisson’s outlet pass to an open Mapp down court regained Brooks County’s lead in the third quarter.
Patriots guard Jasmine Askew made one of her two free throws with four minutes left that tied the game at 30-30.
Brooks County immediately regained the lead with a quick four-point swing, but Southwest Macon managed a four-point swing of its own.
Mapp was an impressive 8 for 8 from the free throw line in the third quarter, with two coming late in the quarter to give Brooks County a 44-41 lead.
The final quarter was the climax of the thrilling game, and the Lady Trojans held on to their lead until Willis knocked in a score, which deadlocked the game at 52-52 with two minutes remaining.
Mapp managed to make her last steal count the most intercepting the Southwest Macon’s inbound pass for a last shot.
Mapp finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds to lead Brooks County.
“She had the desire that she wasn’t going to lose and she continued to push. I thank god that we got her,” said Thomas.