SEG Falcons get their “Freedom” and now seek a Second Straight 3-A State Championship:Southeast takes NCHSAA 3-A West Regional Title, 49-46, over Morganton Freedom Patriots(Next up E.E. Smith in Raleigh)

Final today from the Shuford Gymnasium on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University, in Hickory, N.C.:
Southeast Guilford girls 49, Morganton Freedom 46
**********SEG Falcons 2020 NCHSAA 3-A West Regional Champions**********
SEG Falcons(30-1)/Freedom Patriots(29-1)

$$$$$ If you would like to listen back to the SEG-Freedom game, CLICK ON GreensboroSports Radio now….No cost, the game is FREE, courtesy of our Techincian/Engineer Don Moore, at GreensboroSports Radio…$$$$$

+++++++++++Southeast Guilford(30-1) will now meet Fayetteville’s E.E. Smith(31-1) for the 2020 NCHSAA Women’s 3-A State Championship, next Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum, in Raleigh….++++++++++

Southeast Guilford in Hickory on Saturday, vs. Morganton Freedom….
End of 1stQ:SEG 17, Freedom 11…Halftime:SEG 28, Freedom 18…End of 3rd Q:SEG 34, Freedom 28…Final:SEG 49, Freedom 46

SEG scoring:Kennedi Simmons 19 points, Raven Preston 15 points, Sydney Roberts 11 points, Jessica Hopkins 4 points…
Freedom scoring:Blaikley Crooks 15 points, Josie Hise 10 points, Adair Garrison 10 points, Danisha Hemphill 5 points, Jayda Glass 4 points, Christena Rhone 2 points….

The score of this game was tied once at 0-0, and then the Southeast Guilford Falcons scored first in the ballgame and never trailed…SEG’s largest lead was 10 points, and the SEG Falcons took a 10-point lead into the halftime break…Freedom was never able to gain the lead in this game, but the Patriots did get within two points late in the contest, but they could not forge a tie, and they could not move ahead of the Southeast Guilford Falcons…

SEG saw their lead at three points, with less than 20 seconds left in the Regional Final and SEG could have taken a 4-5 point lead, but they missed two free throws and Freedom secured the rebound and raced up the court, down three points, with a chance to tie the game at 49-49 and send the contest into Overtime, but Freedom’s senior captain, Blaikley Crooks could not get a good look at a three and the shot she took, as the game clock ran out, was not a good look from Crooks, due to the defense of Southeast Guilford…
(The Falcons were forcing the “Freedom Fighter” to the left baseline.)

Southeast looking at a trip to Raleigh next Saturday, where they will be facing the team that SEG defeated in 2019, for the NCHSAA 3-A East Regional Title, and that would be E.E. Smith, from Fayetteville…SEG at (30-1) and E.E. Smith, (31-1)…

And that will be next Saturday, at the Reynolds Coliseum, inside the Jim Valvano Arena, on the Kay Yow Court…If you can remember all of that before you get to the game next Saturday, you can pick up your prize, at the Will Call window…

But before we get to Saturday March 14, and the NCHSAA Women’s 3-A State Championship Game, let’s go back to Hickory, and take a closer look, at the SEG Falcons, and their 2020 3-A West Regional Title Game…

SEG was lead in scoring by senior Kennedi Simmons with her 19 points and she also led the Falcons in rebounds, as Simmons snared 11 rebounds on the afternoon…Simmons showed her leadership and court savvy again today and she proved why she was the Guilford County Female Basketball Player of the Year in 2019, and why she may be ready to saddle up and take home that honor again this season, for 2020…Lots of poise and pure energy, with a lot of strength thrown in for good measure, exhibited by Kennedi Simmons on Saturday afternoon, in Hickory….

Coming into the game, Freedom had their “Big Three” of Blaikley Crooks, Josie Hise and Jayda Glass, that were leading the Patriots in scoring…Today, SEG did not have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving, but they did have Kennedi Simmons, Raven Preston and Sydney Roberts….Kennedi had her 19 points, Raven Preston hit for 15 points and Sydney Roberts rolled in 11 points for the SEG Falcons…Simmons had her team-leading 11 rebounds, but Preston and Roberts hit the boards hard too, with both of them grabbing 7 rebounds each…Falcon senior Shunte/Tae Bethea added 7 more rebounds for SEG and the Falcons and Patriots ended up tied in the rebounding department, with each team posting 36 caroms/rebounds…

I really liked the game we were seeing from SEG sophomore point Sydney Roberts on this Saturday, in Hickory…Roberts hit for those key/big 11 points, she added the 7 rebounds and she also dished out 6 assists…Roberts was 5-9 in shooting from the field and when it came to real game time, Roberts, Preston and Simmons all logged the full 32 minutes in this war/battle/basketball game…

Southeast was having trouble getting the ball inside, as Freedom was packing the back line and they kept the middle all clogged up with their bigs, Crooks and Garrison, and with Freedom using a lot of that 2-3 zone, SEG was forced to put up some outside shots, or drive the lane, and Sydney Roberts more than once, drove the lane and hit the key layup/lay-in….
(And for one more point of emphasis, 7 rebounds by your point guard(Roberts), that’s gravy, brothers and sisters.)

In the second half, as SEG continued their fast break and maintained a 6-8 point lead, Freedom was forced to come up and go after SEG and that left the backside of the lane open, where Roberts, Preston and Simmons found Jess Hopkins wide open for two key/crucial layups…Those were very big buckets at that time by the SEG Falcons, as they began to make Freedom pay and SEG made Freedom take their eyes off of Hopkins, and that left the door wide-open for Hopkins, and Jessica Hopkins kicked the door down and she went on in, for two points twice, due to the Freedom Fighters, leaving their POST….

Neither team shot well from three-point range as SEG was 2-11 from beyond the arc, and Freedom was like Mr. Trump said, “building a wall”, going 2-15 from the ‘Promised Land’…..

SEG only got to the foul line 9 times and ended up going 3-9(33.3%), while Freedom got to the charity stripe 26 times, and nailed 18 of those 26 free tosses(69.2%)….

Here’s a number that might surprise you since both teams had 36 rebounds each, SEG out-scored Freedom 36-20 in the paint, that is a 16-point advantage, with most of those buckets in the paint by SEG, coming on put-backs and on layups…There was not a lot of room for the ‘pretty post patterns in the paint’ today, in the Shuford Gymnasium, and much of that was due to the Freedom back line defense, but SEG found ways to compensate….

Blaikley Crooks was strong for Freedom, with her 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Patriots, and she sort of reminded me of Maddie Dillinger, from Cuthbertson, in the way Crooks role worked for the Freedom Patriots…SEG was able to keep Jayda Glass around 6 points below her average(10.0 ppg), and the Patriots overall scoring leader, Josie Hise at 15.5 points a game coming into this Regional Final, well the Falcons forced Freedom’s Hise into a 1-9 shooting night from the field, and Hise felt like it was “no dice” from three-point range, as Hise was 0-5 from long-distance today…You have to say that the SEG defense effected the shooting of Hise and Glass, a couple of captains from the Freedom senior class…..

With the time change coming up we must complete our work here soon, so we can make it to the morning mass….

In closing, the way we see it, the Southeast Guilford Falcons should be your NCHSAA Women’s 3-A State Champions by about this time(10:08 EST) next Saturday night and it is almost time to file this win over Freedom away and get on to the matter at hand…..SEG defeating E.E. Smith, from Fayetteville…

You may remember last year I had this hunch about which team from Guilford County to follow in the playoffs and I jumped on the SEG Falcons bandwagon, early in the playoffs…This year, I gave some thought to following a hunch on the Northwest Guilford boys, but when I saw the SEG Falcons with that sweet #2 seed, that is all I would need to make my choice the SEG Falcons, again in 2020, and when I turn my attention to a team, that team has a pretty good chance of bringing the hardware home….It has just been going that way, for around the last 25 years….

See you Saturday in Raleigh and long live the SEG Falcons, led by the hard-charging coach Rachel Clark and her trusty assistants in Dave and Amy Beasley and others that show the way, on the Southeast Guilford Falcons’ bench….
(And one more final note before we close up shop for tonight, Millayana Redd, the hero from the Falcons’ Tuesday night win over a tough bunch of Cuthbertson Cavaliers, well Redd gave SEG 12 solid minutes off of that SEG bench today, and when Redd comes into that SEG Falcon lineup, “Redd means Green/go”.)

$$$$$ If you would like to listen back to the SEG-Freedom game, CLICK ON GreensboroSports Radio now….No cost, the game is FREE, courtesy of our Techincian/Engineer Don Moore, at GreensboroSports Radio…$$$$$