Fourth quarter run by Cedar Shoals stuns Heritage girls

CONYERS -- With 5:25 remaining in Tuesday's Region 8-AAAAA game, Breanna Saunders had a putback and the Heritage girls basketball team led 36-30.

But the hosts wouldn't score another point. Cedar Shoals got a combined 13 points from Khoriana Glen and Kierria Curry in finishing the game on a 19-0 run, stunning Heritage 49-36.

With the win, Cedar Shoals kept rolling in league play, moving to 7-2 and 15-2 overall. Heritage dropped its fourth consecutive game and fell to 4-5 and 7-11 overall.

Heritage took the lead early in the third on a putback from Aujana Dawkins (team-high 11 points), and the Patriots kept that lead throughout the third, going up by as many as five on a 3-pointer by Damali Thomas at the 2:32 mark. Cedar Shoals took more than two minutes to score in the fourth, and that allowed Heritage to build its largest lead at six on Saunders' basket.

But the Patriots couldn't hold the lead, thanks in large part to six of their 17 second-half turnovers coming in the final five minutes. After the Jaguars tied the game at 36-36 with 3:50 to play on Curry's field goal, Cedar Shoals grabbed the lead for good on a bucket by Amber Cox 40 seconds later.

"We didn't finish offensively or defensively," Heritage coach Lauren Chambers said. "Cedar Shoals out-played us and had more heart. We ended up letting them have it."

Ty Davis, who along with Glenn led Cedar Shoals with 14 points, was active in the third with three field goals, including a late bucket that pulled the Jaguars to within 29-28 heading to the final period.

In an evenly played opening half, there were five lead changes and no team led by more than three points, which Heritage accomplished on two occasions.

The teams went back and forth in the second, trading baskets until Dawkins found Saunders for a bucket and Dawkins hit a field goal of her own to put the Patriots up 16-13 with two minutes left until halftime.

Cedar Shoals got a free throw from Curry, and Morgan Finch fed Davis for a short jumper in the lane that tied the game at 16-16 heading into the locker room.

The Patriots ended the first quarter on a 9-2 run, aided by five of Saunders' seven first-half points, the last two coming on a nice fadeaway in the lane, and Thomas' 3-pointer in the corner, to close the first up 9-6.

The boys teams from Heritage and Cedar Shoals played the nightcap, which ended too late for this edition.