Chestatee girls coach Web Daniel was relieved there wasn’t an additional three minutes left on the fourth quarter clock.
The Lady War Eagles extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games on Tuesday night with a 45-38 win, only after watching White County force a plethora of turnovers and nearly complete a monster comeback in this Region 7-AAAA opener.
“I think that was the most turnovers we’ve ever had. I bet we had about 40. That was the most turnovers we’ve had since I’ve been here — 13 years,” said Daniel.
"We played in a rush, and we don’t play that way. We play a half court game, that control the games. We didn’t play smart,” he added.
The Warriors (3-7) made things interesting after Chestatee (10-0, 1-0 Region 7-AAAA) led 23-11 at the half. They outscored the War Eagles 12-9 in the third quarter to climb within nine, then capitalized on six War Eagle turnovers down a two-minute stretch to make it a two-point game with under a minute left to play. White County’s Sakina Wilmont scored eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a floater inside the paint to bring it to 40-38.
But the War Eagles responded almost immediately, as Maggie Brechter scored a crucial layup on the other end with 43.9 seconds left. The War Eagles sunk 3 of 6 from the free throw line to close it out. In the fourth quarter, Chestatee shot at 50 percent in that category, leading scorer Lindsey Caudell (20 points) going 4 of 6 from the charity stripe.
“They played hard the whole game,” Daniel said of White County. That team is young, but at the end of the year, that team will be very, very tough to beat. We don’t normally pressure so easily, but for some reason we didn’t have our best game handling the basketball. I thought the second quarter we did a better job handling the ball.”
Daniel’s players picked up steam to start the second quarter. A pair of buckets by Wilmont for the Lady Warriors kept things even before a Brooklyn Popham (8 points) layup sparked a 12-0 run that would span for over four minutes. The War Eagles stretched their lead by as much as 23-9 before Annabeth Vandiver (6 points) sunk a long jumper right before the buzzer.
Caudell added four rebounds, two assists and a steal in the win. Dawndria Bell had six points with three steals.
Chestatee hosts Lumpkin County 6 p.m. Friday.
WHITE COUNTY BOYS 64, CHESTATEE 45: The entire bench of White County was rooting for John Ward to get at least one dunk in the first half.
Ward came close on three occasions during his 14-point effort to lead the Warriors to a Region 7-AAAA win beside top scorer Austin Harris on Tuesday night.
Harris led the Warriors (7-3) with 20 points, including five 3-pointers to keep the visitors ahead for the entirety.
Chestatee’s Cooper Wilson led the scoring efforts with 17 points.