The Chestatee girls basketball team hit six 3-pointers in the final quarter on Friday night, but were unable to make up for the first three in which they were outplayed by visiting Franklin County.
Despite outscoring Franklin County 25-12 in the fourth, the Lady War Eagles fell 51-40 in Gainesville.
“We got outplayed,” Chestatee coach Web Daniel said after the game. “We got our butts kicked. We made some shots at the end, but we let them get too far ahead early.
“We can’t do that.”
The fourth quarter appeared to be a formality when the Lady War Eagles (11-6, 1-2 8-AAA North) entered down 39-15.
When Bridgette Kelly started the quarter off with a 3-pointer and Emily Crain followed with two of her own, things got a bit more interesting.
With the gap closed to 40-24 with 6:17 remaining, the team knocked down three more behind the arc in the next three minutes to close the gap to 44-35. But the team’s biggest enemy — the clock — wasn’t on its side.
Franklin County’s Josie Eavenson was able to hit a 3-pointer of her own to push the lead back to 12 with under two minutes, and the comeback bid was put to rest.
“We made some shots late,” Daniel said. “Finally, when we got down, we were able to hit a couple, but there wasn’t any pressure at that points. We’ve got to make the shots when we’re under pressure early.”
Daniel was referring to the first three quarters in which his team managed to make just six field goals and fell behind by 24 points.
After neither team was able to put many points on the board for the majority of the first half, Franklin County (3-12, 2-1) finally caught fire in the final three minutes of the second.
The team knocked down 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions, including two by Shakara Little, who led the team with 16 points in the game, and erupted for a 29-13 lead at the half.
The third quarter wasn’t much kinder to the Lady War Eagles. While they were able to hold Franklin County to 10 points in the quarter, they were only able to manage two points on their end. The two points came on a basket by Maegan Kenimer with just 10 seconds remaining in the quarter.
“They made the shots early, and we didn’t” Daniel said resignedly. “That’s it.”
Daniel stressed the need for positive plays early to keep the players in the game for four full quarters.
“We always need positive moments early, especially with the youth on our team,” he said. “We expect some of this from a young team, but we’ve got to find a way to get better.”
Kenimer and Kelly shared the lead for the team in scoring with 10 points, followed by Crain at nine. Along with Little, Eavenson led Franklin County, scoring 15 points in the contest.
Chestatee hosts Lumpkin County at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Gainesville. Franklin County hosts North Hall at the same time.
FRANKLIN COUNTY BOYS 54, CHESTATEE 41: Cole Morgan led both teams with 17 points, and the War Eagles got within seven points in the final quarter, but they were unable to top Franklin County on Friday night.
Trailing by 17 points, 42-25, at the end of the third quarter, Chestatee (0-17, 0-3) went on a 16-6 run over the first six minutes of the fourth. Franklin County (12-3, 3-0) rebounded in the final two minutes, however, scoring six unanswered and putting the game out of reach.
Franklin County had three players in double-figures: Raquan Jones (15 points), Tomoriea McGlockling (13 points) and Braxton Shiftlet (11 points).
Chestatee hosts Lumpkin County at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; Franklin County hosts North Hall, also at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.