By Derrick Mahone
The Dutchtown girls appearance in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs probably won't raise many eyebrows. After all, the Bulldogs were in first and second place in the region the majority of the season.
This season, the boys team has gotten in our the postseason action. Making its inaugural state playoff appearance in school history, Dutchtown defeated Westside-Macon 49-32 to advance to tonight's second round game at Richmond Academy.
It will mark the first time that both the boys and girls teams at the Henry County school are still alive this late in the season.
A day after its boys made school history by not only playing in their first tournament, but winning a game, the girls team defeated Hardaway 58-49 to advance out the first round for the second straight season.
The girls' team will host Butler Wednesday at 6 p.m. in a repeat of last season's first round game. Dutchtown defeated Butler 63-61 in overtime last season.
Saturday's win over Hardaway avenged last season's last second playoff loss at home.
"We remembered what happen in that game, it has been sitting in our hearts for a long time," Dutchtown point guard Brittney Strickland said.
Butler is the Region 3-AAAA runner-up, and enters the game with a 25-2 record. The Bulldogs had won four straight before losing to Hephzibah in the region championship game. Dutchtown is 25-2 and has won its last 14 games.
Against Hardaway Saturday, Dutchtown took control the game in the second quarter. After the first quarter, the score was tied 10-10, but the Bulldogs took a 27-20 lead into halftime.
"I think we were a little sluggish at the beginning," Dutchtown coach Angela Williams said. "I don't know why, but we were rushing a lot of shots at first. It took us a a while, but we finally got into the flow."
The Dutchtown boys will be hoping to get out early against a Richmond Academy squad that has won its last 27 games. Included in those victories are wins against Class AAAAA Newton and Class A power Wesleyan.
Richmond hasn't loss since the second game of the season in November to Laney.
Dutchtown coach Bernard Farrell said there is plenty excitement at the school with both the girls and boys program having success this season.
"I'm happy for the players," Farrell said. "This has been three to four years of work in the making. Our goal was to get a win and keep on playing."
The Bulldogs were the No. 6 seed at the Region 4-AAAA tournament two weeks ago, but played their way into the championship game. It has been somewhat of a roller coaster season for Dutchtown, which is now 15-14 after its first round playoff win.
Dutchtown started the season 2-7 before hitting a four-game winning streak. The Bulldogs hit another losing streak near the end of January, losing five of its last seven regular season games.
However, they hit their stride in the region tournament to advance to the state playoffs.
"There is no pressure on us," senior Derrick Brock said. "We know our next loss will be our last game. We are just going out to play as hard as we can."