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State tournament resumes today

By Doug Gorman

Six Clayton County high school basketball teams are still in the hunt for a state title.

Starting tonight three of them will resume play in the second round, with the other three teams continuing post-season play on Friday night.

Here is a look at the Thursday's second-round contests.

Riverdale vs. Houston County (girls): The Riverdale Lady Raiders didn't have too many problems in its first-round game last week in Savannah, beating Wayne County 62-46.

The Lady Raiders led by as many as 20 points in the first half. With the victory, Riverdale upped its record to 24-4.

Brittany Baity scored 13 points to lead the Lady Raiders.

Houston County entered the state tournament as the No. 2 seed out of Region 2-AAAAA after falling to Jonesboro in the region title game. Houston County beat Tift County in the first round of the tournament.

Tip off is today at 4 p.m. in the Macon Coliseum.

Mt. Zion vs. Beach (girls): It's been a historical ride for the Mt. Zion Lady Bulldogs. The team is in the state tournament for just the second time in school history, and last week in the 37-34 victory against Colquitt County, the Lady Bulldogs posted their first-ever victory in the state tournament.

The victory extended the season for at least one more week. Despite the lowing scoring game against Colquitt, Shaka Dennison stepped up her offensive game with 17 points.

The season has been a little unusual for the Lady Bulldogs. Edwin Turnipseed stepped down as head coach of the team during the Christmas break after accepting a job at the University of Georgia. Doc Gammage took over for Turnipseed and the team continued to thrive, including in a big-win against Jonesboro.

Beach advanced to the state tournament with its win against Fayette County. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

North Clayton vs. Kendrick (girls): After finishing in second-place in the Region 4-AAAA tournament, the North Clayton Lady Eagles continued their winning ways last week in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament with a 54-42 victory against Cross Creek.

North Clayton only led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter, but extended it to double figures after the second and third quarters.

Shaleece Bradley led North Clayton with 13 points, but it was defense which paved the way for the Eagles win.

"We put pressure on their main player and made them rely on other people," said North Clayton head coach Kimleon Turner.

Kendrick advanced to its game with North Clayton with a win over Crisp County.