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Alpharetta's Kourtney Lacy works around a Pope defender in the Raiders' 56-26 loss in the Region 7-AAAAAA third-place game. 

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Despite a strong regular season, Alpharetta girls basketball will enter the state tournament as the No. 4 seed from Region 7-AAAAAA after an abysmal region tournament. The Raiders entered the region tourney as the top seed but were dispatched handily in their two games, including Saturday’s 56-26 loss to Pope in the third-place game.

The Greyhounds’ region-leading offense put the game out of reach early, and the Raiders were held to single-digit scoring in each period.

Alpharetta entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and earned an automatic bid to the state tournament by besting the field in the regular season. Despite the high expectations for success in the region tourney, the Raiders had an extremely frustrating 24 hours.

Friday night, No. 4 seed Johns Creek dominated Alpharetta in the semifinals, 46-18, the largest losing margin for the Raiders all season. On Saturday, the Raiders did not fare much better against Pope.

The Greyhounds charged to a 15-4 lead and outscored Alpharetta 20-6 in the second quarter to lead by 25 points at the half. Pope doubled the Raiders’ scoring in the third ahead of a shortened, 6-minute fourth quarter.

Simone Lett led the Raiders with nine points followed by six from Njeri Lewis.

“Teams are making adjustments, and we’re just not combating them,” Alpharetta head coach Rickey Jordan said. “Teams are packing it in on the zone against us, our shooters have gone ice cold, we’re having a hard time driving and finishing. We just need to get back to the gym and try to get better this week one day at a time.”

Jordan said his team will need to regroup ahead of the state tournament which tips of Feb. 14-15 with the Raiders as the No. 4 seed from the region.

Part of that regrouping goes beyond schemes and plays, it deals with a team atmosphere.

“I want the girls to be supportive,” Jordan said. “This is frustrating on all ends, the players, the coaches. And as young women, I want them to stay in it, be supportive of one another through the frustration. Hold your teammates accountable, but be a support for them.”

Alpharetta will go on the road to face the Region 5 champion in the first round of the state tournament.

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