Brea Elmore scored 19 points and sparked a game-changing run in the second quarter to lead Redan to a 60-40 victory over South Effingham in the Class AAAA girls basketball semifinals Saturday at the University of West Georgia.
The victory puts top-ranked Redan (32-0) in the championship game for the first time since 2010 and fifth in school history. The Raiders will be seeking their second state title when they play at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Macon Centreplex. The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for fifth-ranked South Effingham, which finished 27-5.
Despite missing its first eight shots, South Effingham trailed just 8-6 after Machala Raymonville hit a 3-pointer with 3:32 to play in the first quarter. The Rebels took their first and only at 15-14 on a 3-pointer by Tianna Germain with 5:46 remaining in the half. Elmore answered with consecutive 3-pointers, leading to a 12-2 run that put Redan firmly in control.
“I don’t know why people don’t recognize her, but Brea is one of the top players in the state,” Redan coach Jerry Jackson said. “I know all the voting and stuff that goes down, but if they don’t have her in the top 15 [for all-state], there’s something wrong with the system.”
Elmore battled foul trouble throughout and picked up her fourth in the first nine seconds of the fourth quarter. But South Effingham never got closer than eight points in the second half, on a 3-point play by Germain that cut the lead to 36-28 midway through the third quarter. The Raiders got their first 20-point lead on a layup by Destini McClary with 3:54 to play. Jamese Abney put the game away by going 8-for-8 on free throws in the quarter. McClary scored 14 points for Redan, and Abbey added 12.
Germain, who averaged 18 points per game this season to lead South Effingham, who held to 10 in her final high school game.
“We came into the basketball game really focused on not letting her get loose,” Jackson said. “The little bit of highlights we saw of her, we knew she was an outstanding player. We decided to put our best defender on her … Jamese Abney is probably one of the best defenders in the state.”
South Effingham (40): Dekiah Butler, Shandrea Leverett 8, Dionna Hartfield 4, Tianna Germain 10, Leilani Beasley, Machala Raymonville 14, Alissa Epling 4.
Redan (60): Jamese Abney 12, Brea Elmore 19, Destini McClary 14, Jaylen Black 2, Kayla Pierce, Taylor Tucker 8, Jada Byrd 4, Satoorrie Hines 1.