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Carnes leads Gainesville girls to first title since 2005
The Gainesville High girls basketball team celebrates after winning the Lanierland Tournament Friday night at the Gainesville High gymnasium. The Lady Elephants’ defeated East Hall. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

Lanierland All-Tournament team

C.W. Davis MVP - Jaymee Carnes

Curt Lance Memorial Sponsorship - Peyton Robertson

Hailey Solomon

Symone Hampton

Jasmine Jenkins

Chelsea Wilson

Kristy Harper

Harley Robson

Louisa Jacobs

McKenna Rushton

Jayla Moon

West Hall boys win program's first title

GAINESVILLE — The Gainesville girls finished what their standout Jaymee Carnes started in their 55-40 win over East Hall in the Lanierland finals.

Carnes had 15 of the Lady Red Elephants’ 23 first-half points, including a single-handed 8-0 run to start the game.

Her team followed her lead in the second half.

Leading by only three with five minutes left, the Lady Red Elephants (4-1) went on a 14-0 run sparked by back-to-back 3-point baskets from seniors Taylor Ricketts and Kiki Thompson, to take the title.

“(Winning the Lanierland title) is great,” said Carnes, who finished with a game-high 28 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks.

“Everyone worked so hard and we all played together.”

The win marks the first time since 2005 that Gainesville has hoisted the trophy at the end of the game.
Carnes’ ability to carry her team was evident early and often.

She not only scored eight of her team’s 12 first-quarter points, but also ended the first half with five straight to give her team a five-point lead.

She followed that up by scoring seven of her team’s 11 third-quarter points.

“I have been so blessed to be able to coach great players,” Gainesville coach Manson Hill said. “(Carnes) played like Miss Georgia Basketball tonight. It was just a very special performance.”

East Hall (4-2) didn’t easily go into the second-place role, however. The Lady Vikings continually came back and were on the brink of upsetting the No. 6-ranked Lady Red Elephants until the fourth quarter.

With a three-point lead early in the final period, Gainesville picked up its defensive pressure and began a scoring surge that would end with it outscoring East Hall 21-10.

It started with Rickett’s lone 3-pointer of the night. On the ensuing possession, Carnes got an offensive rebound and hit Thompson for her only 3-point basket.

From that point on it was all free throws, with Carnes, Hailey Solomon and Griffin each hitting two.

Another Carnes score, off an assist from Solomon and the Lady Red Elephants had built their biggest lead of the game at 49-32 and were on their way to the championship.

“We executed there at the end,” Hill said. “We hit our free throws and just had so many people step up and make big plays.

“We know we’re a good team; we’re trying to become a great team.”
For the star of the night, it was all about the team.

“Before the game we knew it was big for our five seniors,” Carnes said. “We wanted to come out and do it for them.”

The Lady Vikings were led by Dorreka Faulkner with a team-high 11 points and Symone Hampton with 10 points.

Flowery Branch girls 46, North Hall 44

Jessica Harper led the Lady Falcons with 16 points and six rebounds in their consolation final win Friday at Gainesville High.

With the score tied at 42 and two minutes left in the game, Harper hit a deep 3-pointer to put her team ahead for good.

The ability of the Lady Falcons to grab offensive rebounds was the catalyst from that point forward as they outrebounded the Lady Trojans 3-0 in the final minute.

North Hall was led by McKenna Rushton with 12 points and Taylor Tate with 10.
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