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Basketball: Lady Trojans on a roll

POSTED: December 29, 2007 5:02 a.m.

GAINESVILLE — The North Hall girls picked up right where they left off.

Less than 48 hours removed from winning their first Lanierland Championship since 1990, the Lady Trojans (6-1, 3-1 Region 7-AAA), led by Letiecia Davenport’s game-high 21 points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists, also won their sixth straight beating Flowery Branch 47-35 on Monday night at North Hall High.

"I think we’re doing very well," North Hall coach Debbie Blake said. "We have all new starters except for Elizabeth (Williams) and Letiecia (Davenport), and the young ones, they are stepping up and I am impressed. They get down on themselves when the shots don’t fall but I keep telling them that they are playing defense like I’ve never seen them play and that’s what matters."

North Hall left little doubt that it was ready to play from the tip-off, going on an 11-0 run to start the game thanks to four straight by Davenport, a steal and layup by senior Elizabeth Williams and a 3-pointer by junior Bradee Burrell.

With 40 seconds to go in the first period, Flowery Branch (5-3, 2-1) finally got on the board thanks to a bank shot by Tangie Moss.

Moss’ 2-pointer would be the only Lady Falcons score of the first quarter due to stifling man-to-man defense by North Hall and a few missed layups by Flowery Branch.

"The defense is what’s carrying us through and that’s what I keep telling them," Blake said. "You have to win games on this end (defensive end) not at the offense end."

Scoring didn’t come easy for either team in the second period with Davenport finally stopping the offensive drought on a jumper from the elbow, giving her team a 14-5 advantage, four minutes and thirty seconds into the second quarter.

It was the first Lady Trojan score in over six minutes.

Flowery Branch cut the lead to seven with a layup by Jessica Hart, only to see North Hall hit four straight, pushing the lead back to 11.

Davenport was the catalyst in the run, accounting — whether by assist or made basket — for all four points.

The Lady Trojans held Flowery Branch to five second-quarter points while only scoring six themselves to go into halftime with an 18-7 lead.

Sparked by two quick layups, Flowery Branch opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run and cut the lead to 20-16.

It was as close as the Lady Falcons would get.

Hart was the lone double-digit scorer for Flowery Branch with 12 points.

The sense of urgency the Lady Trojans felt was evident as they answered Flowery Branch’s run with a 7-2 run of their own. Davenport was the spark again, hitting a layup, then pulling down a defensive rebound and hitting Burrell streaking down the middle of the court for an easy layup.

Williams was the second leading scorer for North Hall with 10 points.

"I think we were living on the edge of what we did over the weekend," Blake said, "And then we got a little sluggish because the girls had tired legs."

North Hall returns to action at 6 p.m. Thursday when it plays host to Johnson. The Lady Falcons will travel to Philips Arena to play Enterprise, Ala., on Wednesday.



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