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High school basketball: Chestatee girls land impressive win against Flowery Branch
Chestatee's Riley Black drives toward the basket against Flowery Branch on Tuesday in Gainesville. Photo by Robert Alfonso Jr.

Sutton Shirley had a stoic but subdued fist pump Tuesday night for good reason.

His Chestatee High girls basketball team picked up a 53-40 win against Flowery Branch on the Lynn Cottrell Court. 

The win not only helped split the season meeting between both programs, but it also moved the Lady War Eagles (13-6, 4-3 Region 8-4A) into fourth place in the region.

“They beat us the first time,” Shirley said. “We wanted to protect our home court.”

The Lady War Eagles did a fine job making sure they would remain undefeated on their home floor. 

Holding on to a 39-35 lead, Chestatee clamped down defensively on Flowery Branch, outscoring them 14-5 in the final quarter.

Most of its success down the stretch was a credit to Bowen Corley. 

The senior forward has been in close games throughout her career in the Lady War Eagles uniform. 

She has helped keep poise on both ends of the floor. 

Riley Black added some punch offensively and consistency throughout the game, especially late to help secure the game. 

The sophomore guard finished with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. 

Corley chipped in with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“Bowen has done an excellent job being a senior,” Shirley said. “Black continues to play beyond her years.”

A collective team effort was needed in the final frame by Chestatee to hold off a feisty Lady Falcons squad.

Flowery Branch (7-10, 3-4) made a strong comeback in the third period. 

It edged out Chestatee by one in the quarter, making some tough baskets and showing defensive intensity. 

The same energy and consistency was difficult to find in the final minutes of the game.

Chestatee fine-tuned its defensive strategy, keeping Flowery Branch’s Shaina Kriews from going off. 

It worked as the senior guard was being followed by Riley Allison. 

Kriews finished with eight points. Bella Brick scored a team-high 15 points for Flowery Branch.

Allison and Addison Boyd finished with seven points apiece for Chestatee, while Caroline Bull added five points.

“This puts us in a good spot,” said Shirley of the region win. “We have a little bit more control of our own destiny in the region.”

Up next, Chestatee hosts Commerce on Friday. 

On Friday, Flowery Branch plays host to East Hall. 

CHESTATEE BOYS 69, FLOWERY BRANCH 61: After a handful of close games in region play, the War Eagles got over the hump Tuesday night.

“We’ve faced a lot of adversity during region play,” Chestatee coach Tanner Plemmons said. “We’ve been in a lot of close games and we probably should’ve won some of those games.”

Chestatee (8-11, 1-6 Region 8-4A) held off the Falcons in the fourth quarter. Leading the way was Hugh Pruitt with a team-high 18 points. Colton Wilbanks dropped 17 points. Jarvis Weaver added 13 points for the War Eagles. 

Flowery Branch (11-9, 3-4) was led by Tyleek Worth’s 15 points. Jackson Owens added 12 points. Trey Shaw chipped in with 10 points. 

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