The Augusta Preparatory Day School girls basketball team was in the Wright place at the wrong time last week.
Sisters Melissa and Virginia Wright led Augusta Christian Schools to a 53-34 win over the Lady Cavaliers in a Region 4-AAA contest Tuesday night at the Lions Den.
Virginia kept AC close in the first half, scoring nine points and pulling down six rebounds, while Melissa slammed the door in the second half with nine points and six steals.
For the night, Virginia recorded a game-high 16 points and 12 rebounds. Melissa finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 steals to notch her second triple-double in four games.
"I think it was really special for Melissa to play her last home game on this court with her sister," AC coach Jodie Price said.
In the boys' game, Augusta Prep also was a victim of circumstance - Augusta Christian was coming off region road losses at John Milledge Academy and Pinewood Christian Academy, which made the Cavaliers a target for AC's pent-up frustration.
The Lions sank 12 of 15 shots from two-point range to build a 26-11 first-quarter lead. Augusta Prep shook off that onslaught and played tough the rest of the way, but AC cruised to a 85-64 victory.
Four Lions scored in double figures, led by Jordan Belcher's 22 points. Peter Rivner scored 17 points to pace Prep, which also had four players reach double digits.
The Augusta Christian boys needed a win to stay atop Region 4-AAA; the first-place team at the end of the regular season earns a bid to the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AAA state playoffs.
The AC girls, on the other hand, are in the middle of the pack in Region 4-AAA and are battling Augusta Prep for seed position in the region tournament, which begins Feb. 12 at Trinity Christian in Dublin, Ga.
"There's a lot of ifs right now in the region," Coach Price said. "There could end up being a three-way tie (for fourth place) between us, John Milledge and Augusta Prep."
The Lady Cavaliers beat the Lady Lions 36-33 earlier this season, so AC also had a revenge motive Tuesday night.
"We went there and let them beat us in their gym, and we didn't want to let them beat us tonight in our last home game of the season," Price said.
The contest stayed close in the first half, and both squads struggled to find an offensive flow.
"Prep came out and they were really trapping us," Price said. "We'd make one or two passes and jack the shot up. The key was patience."
Augusta Prep senior Anna Alexander hit a 3-point shot, and Rebecca Smith followed with a bank shot off the glass. Smith then dished to Mary Hannah Lynn, who converted the bucket to give the Lady Cavaliers an 18-16 halftime lead.
After the break, the Lady Lions employed a full-court press, point guard Stephanie Byler started penetrating the Augusta Prep zone and forward Crystin Cromer began scoring inside and drawing fouls.
Price had addressed those tactics at halftime, and her players responded.
"We talked a lot about composure, and that when you're in control, stay in control. We have a lot of young kids, and sometimes they aren't sure when to push downcourt or to pull back," Price said. "Tonight they did a much better job of controlling the basketball game."
Augusta Christian's aggressive play put Prep in a 29-24 hole heading into the fourth quarter. From there, AC outscored Augusta Prep 24-10 as Melissa Wight stole the show, and a bunch of Augusta Prep passes.
"Melissa is so aggressive to the ball she makes the rest of us go along with her," Price said. "We were fighting for the basketball, and it seemed like we got every loose ball."
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