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Free throws cost Central
Lady Dawgs season ended by Tucker
Forsyth Central senior point guard Rachael Tomlinson (11) drives up the floor while defended by Tucker guard Danielle Jackson (12) in the second round of the Region 6-AAAA Tournament on Thursday at Miller Grove High School.
LITHONIA — The charity stripe bankrupted Forsyth Central’s state playoff  hopes.

Central came out on the wrong end of some extreme disparity at the free throw line in the Region 6-AAAA Tournament, where Tucker’s 25-of-34 mark on free throws nearly tripled the points garnered by the Lady Bulldogs’ 9-of-18 performance.

The Lady Bulldogs fell behind by 10 points in the fourth quarter and couldn’t complete a late comeback, suffering a season-ending 68-64 loss to the Lady Tigers in the second round of the region tournament on Thursday at Miller Grove High School.

A win would have guaranteed the Lady Dawgs a spot in the state tournament.

Christy Hewatt (21 points) led a quartet of Central scorers in double figures, followed by Kayla Richards (12), Rachael Tomlinson (11) and Caylin Davenport (10).   

Serena Clark (23 points) and Shemesia Bennett (22) led Tucker and were a combined 20-of-26 from the foul line.

Central established a 26-22 lead midway through the second period, but Tucker ended the first half on a 9-2 run and scored the first two baskets after halftime.

Tomlinson later sank a pair of free throws to tie the game 41-all with under three minutes to play in the third quarter, but Tucker countered with a 10-2 run that Central was never able to overcome.

The advantage grew to double digits, 61-51, with 3:17 left in the game.

The Lady Bulldogs came away with steals in the backcourt on the next three possessions, but only one of the turnovers resulted in any points.
Central’s best hope came when Tomlinson hit a three-pointer with 37 seconds left, narrowing the deficit to 64-59. The Lady Bulldogs forced another turnover on the ensuing possession and had a chance to pull within a single basket, but Tucker denied them on the other end before tacking on two more points at the free throw line.

Richards hit a three-pointer with four seconds remaining, trimming the gap to 68-64, but Tucker got the ball inbounds and ran out the clock.

Central ends the season with a record of 15-8 overall and nine region wins, after failing to earn a region win in either of the two previous seasons.

E-mail Jared Putnam at