Savannah Country Day girls clinch Region 3-3A crown with second sting of Calvary Day

By Nathan Domintz/Special to Prep Sports Report | February 7, 2024

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The Savannah Country and host Calvary Day girls basketball teams seemed determined to play an edge-of-your-bleacher-seat game Tuesday night, even after the visiting Hornets had opened up a 15-point lead in the first quarter.

The Cavaliers trimmed their deficit to one point by midway through the third period, but they couldn’t afford a five-point swing on one play with 2:24 left in regulation.

When Stella Oelschig converted technical free throws for two of her game-high 23 points, Country Day was on its way to a 55-49 victory to clinch the Region 3-3A regular-season title.

“We were always taught to keep our heads up,” said Oelschig, a senior guard. “We came into the game not afraid. We really knew what we had to do. Whenever they got close to us, we still kept our heads up.”

The Hornets (17-5, 14-1 region with one game remaining) led wire to wire. The Cavaliers (18-5, 14-2) trailed 50-44 when Zora Geiger (team-high 20 points) drove for a fast-break layup and there was a whistle on what CDS thought was a three-point play. Instead, Geiger was called for a charge, negating the basket.

Teammate Bre Jones then was assessed a technical for slapping the floor in her reaction, Calvary coach Daniel Jackson said afterward, and she fouled out with her fifth.

Oelschig made both technical foul shots despite the noisy efforts of the partisan home crowd to increase the Country Day margin to eight, 52-44.

“The adrenaline rush is pretty crazy, but I just get in my own world and don’t focus on anything else and really just focus on the basket,” she said.

“Huge. That’s the gap they needed,” Jackson said. “We were not able to capitalize offensively. They made it tough for us pretty much all game to score.”

That was certainly true in the first quarter, when the Hornets – specifically AC Davis – started quickly. The senior power forward hit a short jumper, stole the ball and sank another jumper, all in the first 40 seconds.

Oelschig closed with a 3-pointer from the right baseline, a fast-break layup and trey from the left baseline, then teammate Sarah Catherine Gilpin completed the 10-0 run with a layup after SCD beat the press for a 19-4 advantage.

“The girls from Country Day always play hard,” Jackson said. “I expected it. With them playing hard, we lacked something defensively early, gave up too many points.

“That cushion from the beginning I think is what really set the tone,” he added.

The Cavaliers responded with a 17-7 second quarter in which they trailed by 17 points, 26-9, only to score the last 12. Molly Jane Smith splashed a 3-pointer, Destini Gooddine sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key, Jones hit one from almost the exact same spot and then she drove for a basket.

Goodine made one of two free throws with 4.5 seconds left for a 26-21 deficit at halftime.

“They’re very good and I knew they would make a run,” said Hornets coach Kenny Conroy, who tried to keep the Cavs off balance in switching between box-and-1, triangle-and-2 and 2-1-2 zone defenses. “We were going to live or die without No. 1 (Gooddine) or 2 (Smith) beating us.”

For a good while in the second half, Geiger took up that responsibility by scoring 16 of her team-high 20 points. Jackson calls Geiger the team’s “X factor” because she can get hot and be a big help, especially when teams focus on Gooddine and Jones, who was running the point.

Conroy said he was proud of the team for playing a great game in what figured to be a battle. Country Day snapped Calvary’s nine-game winning streak, which was bookended by the Hornets’ 46-44 home win on Jan. 12 and Tuesday’s outcome.

The coach said it was important that Davis and Oelschig – “who are the glue of his team” – have the ball in their hands at the end of the game. Davis is at 5-foot-8 an undersized post player who is aggressive in the lane and around the basket on offense and defense.

“We are definitely a smaller team this year,” said Davis, who finished with 11 points. “Making sure that we keep up with physicality inside is definitely very important. This team (Calvary) is very physical, and even they don’t have a lot of size. So making sure we match their aggressiveness is very important to being able to stay in the game.”

First-place Country Day and second-place Calvary Day have locked in their seedings for the region tournament, getting byes until the semifinals slated for Friday, Feb. 16 at the site of the Region 3-3A boys region regular-season champion (to be determined).






McCorkle 2, Stella Oelschig 23, Hildebrandt 5, Gilpin 7, Bueno 7, AC Davis 11.


Destini Gooddine 10, Smith 6, Zora Geiger 20, B. Jones 9, A. Jones 4.

Records—SCD 17-5, 14-1 Region 3-3A; CDS 18-5, 14-2.



TUESDAY Feb. 6, 2024


Class 7A

Brunswick 68, Richmond Hill 58

Class 6A

Lakeside 56, Effingham 55

Class 5A

Jenkins 48, Bradwell 44

Class 4A

Burke Count 76, Islands 56

Class 3A

Johnson 49, Liberty County 38

Savannah Country Day 58, Calvary 56

Long County 66, Beach 55

Groves 51,  Savannah Christian 39

Class 2A

Toombs 65, Windsor Forest 55


St. Andrews 51, Savannah High 50

Woodville Tompkins 73, Hilton Head Christian Academy 64


Memorial Day 71, Twiggs Academy 33




TUESDAY Feb. 6, 2024

Class 7A

Richmond Hill 61, Brunswick 49

Class 6A

Lakeside 61, Effingham County 44

Class 5A

Jenkins 51, Bradwell 42

Class 4A

Burke County at Islands (NSR)

Class 3A

Liberty County at Johnson (NSR)

Savannah Country Day 55, Calvary 49

Long County at Beach (NSR)

Savannah Christian 47, Groves 42

Class 2A

Toombs 66, Windsor Forest 49


Woodville Tompkins at Hilton Head Christian Academy (NSR)

Bryan Co, 67. St. Vincent’s 39


Twiggs Academy 59, Memorial Day 28

NOTE: NSR - No Score Reported


PHOTO Credit: Savannah Country Day Athletics

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The "Coach" Karl DeMasi has been teaching and coaching for the past 35 years on all levels of academia and athletics. One of his hobbies has been writing, announcing and talking about sports. DeMasi has been involved in the Savannah Area sports scene since 1995, and he created the high school magazine "The Prep Sports Report" in 2000. In 2010, the "Coach" started broadcasting The Karl DeMasi Sports Report. He's still going strong, broadcasting on Facebook live and Twitter live every Saturday morning. You gotta love it!

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