Laney ladies finally punch ticket to state final

By: Jake Young Email
By: Jake Young Email

Sunday, March 3, 2013

After clinching a fifth straight trip to the GHSA basketball Final Four, Laney's Simone Smith had a simple message: "Two more."

If anyone is motivated to win state it's Laney. They lost four years in a row in the state semifinals, but this year is different.

This time, Smith got a chance for "two more" to become "one more."

The Lady Wildcats rolled to a 23-point win in the Final Four, and they're the only undefeated team left in the state in any class, boys or girls.

Smith and her fellow towers in the paint, Khadijiah Cave and Wynetta Wright, have a lot to do with that success, and now they've even got their coach thinking this could be the group to put a ring on his finger.

"We're gonna do it, we're gonna do it," Head Coach Otis Smart said after the win. "We're gonna do it! We're claiming it now. This bunch is different. This bunch is different, and I love them."

There goal wasn't to make it to the final, it was to win it. So, the celebration left some room to get even bigger.

Smith said, "We're not trying to celebrate too much because we have one more game. The only thing we're saying is, 'One more y'all, one more.' That's all we're saying in there. It's been a long time since we won in the Final Four; a long time, and I'm just happy."

Laney will need to fight for that title Friday afternoon in Macon. They match up with a Wesleyan team that won five straight Class A state titles before moving up to AA this year.


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