Galloway has established itself among the elite in Georgia girls’ high school basketball with state semifinal appearances the last two years.
The Scots now appear poised to take the next step as they wrap up the 2022-23 regular season.
With a 20-4 overall record — the first 20-win season in program history — and 5-1 mark in Region 6A, Division as of Feb. 2, Galloway is ranked No. 1 in the state in the ScoreAtlanta Class A, Division I poll.
For Galloway coach Kiesha Brown, the experience of making it to the state semifinals the last two years has helped her team’s development this season.
“We grew into our experience,” Brown said. “We’ve got two final fours under our belt. With the experience that we’ve had with the kids that we’ve had returning, I want to continue to hope and lean on the experience that we have with this team. So I think that’s our biggest weapon right now, us being able to lean into our experience and have more composure game by game to be able to finish games out.”
Galloway has certainly been tested along the way, with all of its losses coming against state-ranked teams, losing to defending Class AAAAAAA state champion and current No.3-ranked AAAAAAA team Norcross 63-59 Nov. 15, third-ranked AAAAAA squad Woodward Academy--the AAAAA state champion the previous two years — 75-65 Dec.17 and second-ranked Class A, Division I team St. Francis 71-63 Jan. 13 as well as a 71-63 loss to state-ranked Pennsylvania team Souderton in a holiday tournament in Tampa, Fla. Dec. 31.
The Scots also have wins over ranked opponents as well, defeating Northside rivals Westminster (third in AAAA) 71-45 Nov. 18 and Holy Innocents’ (second in AAAA) 59-49 Nov. 22 as well as beating 10th-ranked AAAAAAA team Hillgrove 37-34 Jan. 6.
Five-foot-11 junior Tianna Thompson is Galloway’s leading scorer with 18 points per game, while 5-10 senior Kyla Cain — who has signed to play college basketball at North Florida — is averaging 11 points and seven rebounds a game.
Five-foot-2 point guard and Kennesaw State signee Kailyn Fields is the floor general for the Scots, averaging nine points and five assists a game.
Allison Hoffman, a 5-9 senior who has signed with Oglethorpe, is shooting 37 percent from the 3-point line, while 5-10 sophomore Jasmine Baxter is averaging nine points and eight rebounds a game off the bench and 5-11 sophomore Danaya “D” Stokes has also played a key role.
Thompson, Cain and Fields have each scored more than 1,000 points in their high school careers, while Hoffman was close to the 1,000-point mark as of Feb. 2.
“We’ve got so many pieces that bring different ingredients to make this team what it is,” Brown said.
Brown also credits the efforts of her assistant coaches Kevin Walker and Jocelyn Brown as a key element of Galloway’s success.
“They have been my backbone this year with some of the work to get these girls prepared,” Brown said.
Galloway finished its regular season at home against Mount Pisgah Christian Feb. 3 before beginning play in the Region 6A, Division I tournament — which begins with first-round games hosted by the higher-seeded teams Feb. 13 and finishes with semifinal games Feb. 16 and the championship and third-place contests Feb. 18 at King’s Ridge Christian.
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