Salem became region champions and then became a state force to be reckoned with all in a matter of days.
The Salem Lady Seminoles outclassed visiting Paulding County 74-40 Wednesday to open the Class AAAAA playoffs. Salem will now host Tucker with plenty of momentum on its side.
Also on Salem's side is sophomore star Ayanna Mitchell, who scored 25 points, including 17 in the first half.
Mitchell capitalized on a dominating rebounding performance, picking up several and-one chances and making many of them.
The Salem Lady Seminoles applied enough pressure defense to keep Paulding County from ever getting close, falling in a mercy-rule shortened six-minute fourth quarter.
Salem got off to an early start taking a 14-5 lead in the first quarter, and made it even more lopsided in the second.
Using a 1-3-1 full-court pressure defense, Salem took a 16-10 lead and made it 27-12 after five straight points by Mitchell.
Shay Tarver added 19 points and Jennifer Tindi had 10 for Salem.
The Paulding Lady Patriots were led by Crystal Maner and Keshia Shy with 10 points each.
The Salem girls will face Tucker at home on Friday, Feb. 22. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
Watch it live at http://www.playonsports.com/channels/rockdalecareeracademy-conyers-georgia/events/54713