The Lady Lions (4-2) advance into tonight's semifinal round, where they will play host to Bremen (6-2) in what should be a much more competitive affair for the right to move into the championship showdown on Saturday evening at The Coliseum on the University of West Georgia campus.
"We're going to have to play smart, because Bremen is a very smart team. They play very well together and it should be a good one," Central coach Jimmy LeBlanc said.
In Thursday's contest against the Region 4-AAA foe, the Lady Lions scored the first eight points and never looked back, leading 17-6 after one and 36-8 by the half.
Everyone got in on the action for Central, with sophomore guard Wesli Simmons leading the way with 19 points, followed by sophomore forward Brianna Cousins with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Junior forward Sherae Bonner just missed out on a double-double, posting eight points and 10 boards.
Hayley Sims (six points), Jasmine Thrash (six points), Sydney LeBlanc (four points), Cici Hammett (four points) and Elizabeth Minick (four points) rounded out the Lady Lion scorers.
Jimmy LeBlanc thought his team was pumped up to get the tournament rolling, especially in front of its home crowd.
"I think a lot of it had to do with our girls played really hard [Thursday]. They were excited about our tournament. I think the whole thing with Rockmart having some bus issues and getting here a bit late, I think that factored into it. But we were able to strike quick and get them on their heels a little," Jimmy LeBlanc said.
In other quarterfinal action from Thursday:
Bremen girls 60, Temple 14: The Lady Blue Devils used the long ball to bury the Lady Tigers (0-8) in the early goings, knocking down seven 3-pointers in the opening half en route to a 39-6 advantage at the break.
And with school being out and playing in an afternoon setting, Bremen coach Kathy Matthews said coming out focused and ready to play was a concern, but her ball club didn't show any signs of a mental letdown.
"Definitely. Not being in school, we were worried about that. But they came out of the locker room ready to go. That's what we expect from them being a more mature, more experienced ball club," Matthews said.
Bremen senior shooting guard Jordan Hill led the offensive charge early, scoring 16 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, as she knocked down four treys in the contest.
Emalee Henry scored seven points off the bench for Bremen, while Korra Jaglinski added six points and four rebounds.
For Temple coach Rhett Parson, it was a tall task facing the veteran Lady Blue Devil squad in the opening round, noting that Bremen is a model program that he wants his own Temple squad to ultimately resemble in the future.
"They're a well-coached team. Coach Matthews does a great job. You know, they come out ready to rock and roll from rec ball to the middle school to high school. For us to get where we need to be, that's what we have to do. We have to get them young and coach them up through rec ball and middle school and all the way up to us," Parson said.
Senior guard Charmin Moore led the Lady Tigers, who will play Rockmart today at 4 p.m. in the consolation round at Central, with 10 points and six rebounds.