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Lady Bulldogs roar into semifinals

By Greg Gelpi

It's going to be a blowout, not even close, seniors at Mt. Zion High School said.

After pulling off a number of upsets, highlighted by downing No. 6 Riverdale High School, the Mt. Zion Lady Bulldogs are bound for the Final Four of the Class AAAAA state girls' basketball tournament.

"We're going to blow them away," Aly Pair said. "They might be No. 1, but they haven't met Mt. Zion yet."

Mt. Zion is set to take on No. 1 Collins Hill, a team that is 31-0 and has won the state title in three of the last four years. Tip-off will be at 7 tonight in the Gwinnett Arena.

Winning their first three games of the playoffs, the Lady Bulldogs upset Riverdale as well as Beach High School in earlier rounds.

"I don't think they upset anyone," Maurice Leggett, a senior at Mt. Zion, said. "It would be an upset if (the Lady Bulldogs) lost."

Leggett, who played football for the Bulldogs, said he hoped his football team could have gone further in the playoffs, but is proud of the girls' basketball team and the team's success in the playoffs.

And there is no doubt of the final outcome, Marian Rice, a Mt. Zion student, said.

"I think they're going to win because they are very determined and have been working hard," Rice said.

All of the seniors said the team has surprised them, since last year the team didn't make the playoffs.

"I'm surprised, but I knew they were talented," Ansley Seely, another senior, said.

Mallory Straun said she hasn't really followed the team, but the team's success has grabbed her attention, adding she is proud of the Lady Bulldogs.

Caleb Lester, who played basketball as a freshman and sophomore, said he could appreciate what the team has done, saying he was surprised by the team's performance.

"You didn't think they were up to the accomplishments they've had so far," Lester said.

School spirit is running rampant, hitting students and faculty alike.

"I am elated," Assistant Principal Thomasina Goodgame said. "It makes me wish I was back in high school playing basketball."

Goodgame said she played basketball in high school and earned a basketball scholarship to college.

"The school is pumped up," she said. "We're just trying to keep the spirit going. I'm predicting we'll take the state tournament, of course. We're going to win."