Following the first quarter, a quarter in which the Class AAA No. 7-ranked Lady Red Elephants allowed Lumpkin County to jump out to a seven-point lead with all-around lackadaisical play, coach Manson Hill spoke to his team in the calmest of angry voices.
The Lady Red Elephants (8-2) outscored their opponent by an average of 15.6 points per quarter over the final three quarters to win 63-45 on Tuesday night in Gainesville.
The Lady Indians (5-4) started fast and focused matching Gainesville shot for shot.
With the score at 7-6 in favor of Gainesville, Lumpkin County junior Lacey Wallingford drew a foul on Lady Red Elephants’ sophomore Jaymee Carnes. It was Carnes second foul of the contest and as a result she was taken out of the game.
Her early exit, with the score tied 7-7 after Wallingford made 1-of-2 free throws, sparked a run by the Lady Indians.
Wallingford finished the game with a team-high 13 points.
Lumpkin County finished out the first quarter and began the second quarter on an 11-0 run thanks in part to a made jumper in the lane by sophomore Kayna Clemons, two easy layups off of well-executed inbounds plays and two made free throws by sophomore Cara Malone.
Malone and junior forward Ashley Brown were the second-leading scorers for Lumpkin County with 11 a piece.
Gainesville’s Abby Musselwhite stopped the run with 7:40 left in the first half on a turnaround bank-shot in the lane making the score 17-9 in the Lady Indians favor.
Re-enter Carnes and Gainesville’s swagger.
Sparked by Musselwhite’s basket and Carnes coming back into the game, the Lady Red Elephants outscored Lumpkin County 19-5 in the second quarter capped by a Hailey Solomon rebound and putback followed immediately by a Solomon steal and pass to the releasing Loren Thomas who hit a layup at the halftime buzzer.
Gainesville would continue to be relentless on defense and offense for the duration of the game causing multiple turnovers, getting steals and making a plethora of easy baskets on its way to its eighth win of the season.
The Lady Red Elephants were led by Carnes with 18 points, Solomon and junior point guard Taylor Ricketts who both hit for 10 points in the game.
Gainesville returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday when it travels to Buford while the Lady Indians next play in the Forsyth County High School Christmas Tournament beginning Dec. 27.