By Anthony Rhoads
The Jonesboro girls had already qualified for the Class AAAA state basketball tournament before Tuesday night's sub-region final against Mays but now they're going to be playing host to a state playoff game.
The Lady Cardinals (24-2) beat Mays 41-29 for the sub-region championship and will play Saturday in the Region 3-AAAA finals at South Atlanta High School.
"We're looking forward to play Saturday now," Jonesboro head coach John Kovzel said. "Getting to host a state playoff games is very key; that's very big."
In Tuesday's game, Jonesboro raced to a 12-0 start. The run was highlighted by a 3-pointer by Jessica Pippin to give her team a 7-0 lead and a three-point play by Sheena Brown to give the Lady Cardinals a 10-0 advantage.
Brown scored five points in the first quarter and also came up big for Jonesboro in the third quarter with nine points. She led the Lady Cardinals with 14 points. Jasmine Duffey added 10 points to Jonesboro's winning effort.
Jonesboro led 16-4 at the end of the first quarter but the wheels nearly fell off in the second. Jonesboro only managed five points in the second quarter and held on to a 21-15 lead at halftime.
May's cut Jonesboro's lead to 21-18 with about 5:30 remaining in the third quarter. Jonesboro was able to pulled away to carry a 32-23 into the fourth quarter.
Jonesboro outscored Mays 9-4 in the final quarter.
"It was a big win tonight," Kovzel said. "Preparation was key tonight. We spend a lot of time watching tapes and we practiced really well yesterday. Defense was the key to the game."
Nikitta Gartrell led Mays with 14 points.
In other tournament action Tuesday:
Tri-Cities 47, Riverdale 36 (boys): In first-round action of the Region 2-AAAAA tournament at Douglass High School Tuesday, the Riverdale boys lost to Tri-Cities 47-36.
Riverdale led 26-25 going into the fourth quarter but mistakes plagued the Raiders throughout the final quarter. Riverdale missed several lay-ups and one one point, had five straight turnovers.
Gani Lawal had nine blocks and eight rebounds but managed to scored just five points for Riverdale.
The Riverdale girls play Tri-Cities today at 7 p.m.