The East Coweta and Newnan basketball teams played in front of a standing room only crowd Friday night at John Thrower Gymnasium with the two teams splitting the final games of the regular season.
In boys action, East Coweta, the Region 2-7A regular season champs, had to defend its home turf, rallying to beat Newnan 73-63.
The Newnan girls overcame a fourth-quarter offensive drought and split the series with East Coweta thanks to a 46-42 victory.
Both schools will play in next week’s Region 2-7A tournament starting Monday with the girls taking the court at East Coweta.
In boys action, Newnan exploded out the gate and built a 15-9 lead after the first quarter.
East Coweta put together a second-quarter rally and outscored Newnan 19-13 to force a 28-all tie at the break.
The Indians doubled the score on the Cougars in the third period, outscoring Newnan 22-11 to seize the momentum.
Zac Hill helped the Indians pull away a huge offensive effort, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the the third period.
East Coweta built its first double-digit lead of the game at the end of the third period and led 50-39 heading into the fourth quarter.
Fermandez Jones had the hot had throughout the night for the Indians, finishing with 34 points, including hitting 11 of 16 shots from the field.
Harrison Drake was the offensive catalyst for the Cougars finishing the game with 22 points.
Drake hit two 3-point shots in the final period to twice reduce the East Coweta lead to single-digits.
East Coweta’s Jones and Youngblood countered with 3-point shots of their own in the final period.
Tay Watson also had a double-digit night for the Cougars finishing with 12 points.
With the victory, the East Coweta closes out the regular season with a 24-1 record overall and a 9-1 mark in region play.
The victory over Newnan stretched the Indians’ winning streak to 16 games.
Newnan ended the regular-season without a region victory and heads into the tournament with a 6-17 overall record and an 0-10 mark in the league.
Newnan built its first quarter lead as Watson took over scoring seven quick points.
Drake and Brandon Carter each hitting 3-point shots.
The Indians took over in the second quarter as Jones’ kicked his offense into overdrive after being shutout in the first quarter.
Jones hit a pair of long-range 3-pointers and also added an old-fashioned three-pointer as he hit a shot, drew the foul and hit the free throw.
East Coweta earns an first-round bye at the region tournament that opens at John Thrower Gymnasium, but won’t play until the tournament shifts over to Campbell for the semifinals.
Regardless of what happens in the at the tournament, East Coweta has earned one of the four seeds and will play at least one round in the state tournament.
LADY COUGARS 46, LADY INDIANS 42: After a 10-all tie in the first quarter, Newnan pulled away and led 30-17 heading into the break.
K.K. Madrey and Haley Bloom had the hot hand in the second quarter for the Lady Cougars.
Bloom connected on three-straight 3-point shots in the period to help Newnan pull away.
Her third trey gave Newnan a 29-17 lead.
Madrey also lit a fire under the Lady Cougars’ offense in the second quarter hitting on three shots.
East Coweta only managed a pair of baskets in the second quarter after Letiya Reeves and Ale Colton drained baskets.
Newnan pushed the lead to 41-23 at the end of the fourth quarter.
From there, East Coweta nearly rallied for its second victory of the year against its biggest rivals
East Coweta outscored Newnan 16-5 in the final period and kept the Lady Cougars off the fourth-quarter scoreboard until the final seconds of the game.
Madrey stole the ball under the basket and laid it off the glass with under a minute to go in the game to give Newnan a 43-41 lead.
It was Newnan’s first points of the fourth quarter
Bloom also came up with a couple of free throws down the stretch to help seal the victory.
East Coweta stayed in the game by spreading the offensive wealth in the final period.
Reeves hit a 3-pointer and London Fowler also had a couple of key baskets during the East Coweta comeback attempts.
Both Madrey and Bloom finished with 12 points to lead Newnan
Reeves added 15 for East Coweta.
East Coweta ended the regular season with a 7-16 overall record and a 3-7 finish in the region.
Newnan finishes the regular season with a 7-16 overall record and a overall record and a 2-8 mark in league play.