Despite career-ending loss, Simmons all smiles over her Wolverines

Despite career-ending loss, Simmons all smiles over her Wolverines


Despite career-ending loss, Simmons all smiles over her Wolverines


G.W. Carver coach Michelle Simmons, after a career-ending loss, emerged from her locker room and showed an unexpected emotion.

She smiled.

Jeff Davis’ 69-61 victory over the Wolverines in the Class 6A, Area 6 semifinals marked the end of Simmons’ 29-year reign at Carver, but Simmons was far from wrought with sadness.

“It’s already hit me, but I’m still going to smile,” Simmons said. “I’m so proud of my girls because they fought hard.

“I still feel like a winner with the way they went out fighting.”

Simmons announced her retirement before the season. Her 29 years included one state championship and three state runner-up finishes. The Wolverines reached the state semifinals 12 times and were 17-time quarterfinalists.

“We didn’t do what she wanted us to do, but we tried,” said guard Keyuana Thompson, one of six Carver seniors. “This is our last year. We’re not going to be here and neither is she.”

While Carver (14-8) mourned, the Vols (20-6) celebrated being able to practice today. JD will play Robert E. Lee, the host team, in Saturday’s finals.

“This feels great,” sophomore Jasmine Walker said. “It feels awesome. We ended the game strong.”

Walker scored nine of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter and finished 9-of-14 from the field. Ahyiona Vason and Kayla Jackson added 16 points each.

Thompson had 22 points, with 12 in the final period, on 10-of-15 shooting for Carver. Kendra Fowler scored 16 points.

“JD did a great job of being aggressive,” said Simmons, who said she’ll pull for both JD and Lee for the rest of the playoffs. “They deserve it. They played well.”

Because Lee was the regular-season area champion, JD and Carver — the city’s traditional girls basketball powers — met in the do-or-die tournament semifinals.

Carver suffered its earliest playoff exit of Simmons’ career. (JD last lost this early in 1999.)

“Somebody had to win. There couldn’t be a tie,” JD coach LaKenya Knight said. “I’m just glad it was us.”

Robert E. Lee 74, Sidney Lanier 17

T’erra Lewis had 17 points and Ty Williams 13 to lead the Generals (18-7). Che’Dana Jackson had six points for the Poets (2-18).


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