By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Athlete of the Week: North Hall's McKenna Rushton
Placeholder Image

 

Honor Roll

Baseball

Robert Hayes, Commerce: Gave up one run on three hits in four innings pitched in a 9-4 win over Jefferson.

Logan Moye, Lumpkin County: Recorded three hits and two RBIs in an 8-5 win over West Hall.

Blake Thomas, White County: Picked up the win and recorded five strikeouts in six innings pitched in a 3-2 win over East Hall.

Jesse Tallent, Jackson County: Allowed one hit and struck out six batters in four innings pitched in a 10-1 over Washington-Wilkes.

Dalton Murray, Habersham Central: Picked up two hits and three RBIs in a 6-5 win over Johnson.

Michael Pinson, Chestatee: Went 3 for 5 with two RBIs in an 11-7 win over East Hall.

Andrew Laur, Flowery Branch: Allowed one run in six innings pitched in a 4-3 win over North Hall.

David Gonzalez, Gainesville: Allowed one run and struck out eight batters in four innings in a 2-1 win over Jefferson.

Trey Sorrells, Jackson County: Went 4 for 4 with three RBIs in a 12-2 win over Clarke Central.

Tanner Gable, Chestatee: Pitched a complete game three-hitter and recorded eight strikeouts in a 3-2 win over West Hall.

Tennis

Jake Weiner/Alex Moyers, Riverside Military: Won 6-0, 6-0 in No. 2 doubles against Towns County.

Brenden Worth/Tatum Scroggs, West Hall: Won 6-0, 6-0 in No. 1 doubles against Lanier.

Anna Kate Shaw, Flowery Branch: Won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles against Madison County.

Connor McMorrow, Gainesville: Won 6-0, 6-0 in a 5-0 team victory against Walnut Grove.

Dane Allen, East Hall: Won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles in a 3-2 loss to Fannin County.

Lee Allen Martin, Lakeview Academy: Picked up a 6-0, 6-0 singles win against Commerce.

Basketball

Morgan Jackson, East Hall: Scored 19 points in a 44-43 loss to Lovett in the state playoffs.

Taylor Swoszowski, North Hall: Scored 17 points in a 67-58 win in the state quarterfinals on Saturday.

Kaela Davis, Buford: Averaged 21.5 points in second- and third-round wins in the state playoffs.

J.C. Hampton, East Hall: Scored 26 points in his final high school game, a 95-76 loss to Manchester in the state playoffs.

Brian Edwards, East Hall: Scored 24 points in a 95-76 loss to Manchester in the state playoffs.

Golf

Malorie Smith, West Hall: Shot a 36 in seven holes in a win against Lumpkin County.

Olivia Davis, West Hall: Shot a 36 in seven holes in a win against Lumpkin County.

Hunter Dutruch, Riverside Military: Shot a 32 in a seven-hole win over Hebron Christian.

Haley Twiggs, North Hall: Shot a 38 in an eight-hole win over Habersham Central.

Justin Harkleroad, West Hall: Shot a 33 in an eight-hole loss to Riverside Military.

Soccer

Bethany Johnson, Johnson: Recorded three goals and three assists in an 8-0 win over East Hall.

Hartley Carter, Gainesville: Scored three goals in 9-0 win over Monroe Area.

Cassidy Elrod, Flowery Branch: Recorded three goals and three assists in a 10-0 win over Rabun County, and added two more goals in a 9-0 win over Rockdale County.

Jacy Ramey, Flowery Branch: Scored three goals in a 10-0 win over Rabun County.

Thomas Davis, Flowery Branch: Recorded four goals and an assist in a 9-0 win over Rabun County.

Kerry Huycke, White County: Scored three goals in an 8-0 win over Monroe Area.

Leo Manzo, Flowery Branch: Recorded three goals and two assists in a 6-0 win over Rockdale County.

Rachel Kline, West Hall: Recorded three goals and an assist in a 10-0 win over East Hall.

Compiled by David Mitchell

 

 

McKenna Rushton knows she doesn’t have much time left as a member of North Hall’s basketball team.

Friday could be it. Or, maybe Saturday if the Lady Trojans manage to beat Washington County in the state semifinals.

It’s something she has been aware of since the beginning of her senior season, and a major factor for the success she and her team have experienced, she says.

Last week, in the second and third rounds of the state playoffs, Rushton did everything in her power to ensure her season didn’t come to an end.

“We talked about what we wanted to do in our senior year,” she said. “We just talked about being great, and showing how good we could be. We want no regrets.

“It’s been great, and we’re not ready for it to end yet.”

On Feb. 28, Rushton scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 47-45 win over Carrollton. On Saturday, she notched another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Allatoona.

For her efforts, she has been named the Times Athlete of the Week.

North Hall coach Kristi House, of course, has come to expect those kinds of performances from her star senior.

Rushton, who averages about 14 points and seven rebounds per game, routinely steps up in the biggest situations. Whether scoring the points or doing the things that don’t get noticed on the stat sheets, House stressed how much she elevates her game.

“The thing about McKenna is that the bigger the game, the bigger she plays,” House said. “She scores against good teams, which is obviously important in the playoffs.

“And even when she isn’t scoring, she creates openings for others. She’s hustling, taking charges and blocking shots.”

The success is something that hasn’t come out of nowhere. Both Rushton and House noted the level of preparation that goes in for the entire team on a week-to-week basis.

“We study a lot of film,” Rushton said. “Even more in the playoffs. We’ve been studying all the past teams, and that’s what we’re going to do for Washington County, as well.”

“So much time and effort has gone into making her the player she is,” House added. “And she’s playing with a sense of urgency, along with all the other seniors. They don’t want this run to end.”

It’s that sense of urgency that has been the main factor in the postseason.

As a member of a team that has advanced further than any other North Hall girls team since 1991, Rushton, along with her teammates, is looking to take that next step to make history for her school.

The Lady Trojans have never advanced to the state championship game.

And yet, it’s a goal that has been on Rushton’s mind since middle school.

“Since middle school, we’ve been dreaming about winning a state ring,” she said of her fellow seniors. “We knew we’d be capable when we got here, and we knew it would be a great feeling.”

The team has stepped up on both ends in the most crucial of situations to make it as far as it has.

“It’s just a great feeling to be here,” she said. “I’m at a loss for words. There has just been so much support. It’s just been a great experience.

“I hang out with my teammates more than my own family. My team is my family, and we want to keep it together as long as we can.”

And if Rushton can play as she has been, while helping her teammates to do the same, the Lady Trojans have a chance to give their run a special ending.

“They have a chance to make history,” House said. “They want to leave their legacy on the high school.”

 

Regional events