If there’s been a constant for the Chestatee High girls during its current winning streak, it would have to be defensive play.
Friday’s win against White County in Gainesville was no different.
With the Lady War Eagles’ current streak standing at seven games, five of those wins have come as a result of holding the opposition to 40 points or less.
Against White County, the eighth-ranked Lady War Eagles (16-2, 4-0 Region 8A-AAA) created 21 turnovers and held White County’s leading scorer Riley Slaton to nine points en route to a 63-40 win.
Chestatee coach Web Daniel said his team has the lowest points per game allowed average in all of Class AAA at 33 per game.
“We’re bigger than most teams and our zone is really active,” Daniel said. “We’re doing a good job of grabbing rebounds and not allowing second and third shots.”
In the boys game, White County senior forward J.R. Hurst scored a team-high 13 points as part of a 41-36 victory.
Daniel picked up on White County’s defensive strategy right away, trying to take away inside points by Lady War Eagles senior Peyton Robertson, which opened up the outside shot and nine 3-pointers on the night.
Robertson was especially active last week with 25 points in a win against Stephens County and 21 against Union County.
With White County in a box-and-1 defense, it zoned in on keeping Robertson from scoring, but she still managed 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.
However, the Lady War Eagles set the tone with the shooting of sophomore Erin Clifford. She finished the game with five 3s and a game-high 17 points. Rachel Kelly was also in double figures with 10 for Chestatee.
“We’ve been pretty balanced scoring, which helps a lot,” Daniel said. “White County was pressuring us hard, so we just had to adjust.”
Leading 15-8 early in the second quarter, Kelly scored six points in less than 2 minutes for the Lady War Eagles. Each basket had an assist from a different player and helped give Chestatee a 25-13 lead. Also in the first half, Emily Crain added a pair of 3-point baskets for Chestatee.
In the third quarter, Clifford scored the bulk of her points with three 3-pointers.
With the win, Chestatee is in firm control of the subregion, but still has critical games against North Hall and Franklin County in the next 10 days.
“We’re feeling good right now as a team and how we’re playing,” Clifford said. “We just have to keep it up.”
White County visits Lumpkin County at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Chestatee plays host to North Hall at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
WHITE COUNTY BOYS 41, CHESTATEE 36: Leading 25-22, White County’s (10-6, 3-1) Andrew London hit a 3-pointer and D.J. Rogers hit a pair of free throws to take an 8-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Warriors bumped their lead to 10 with a basket from Rogers in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, which helped against a late War Eagles (2-14, 1-3) rally.
Scott Chewning scored five points in two minutes for Chestatee, which cut White County’s lead down to 36-32 with 4:30 left to play in the game.
Trailing 39-36, Chestatee missed a potential game-tying 3 with 14 seconds left.
Keelan Passmore scored a game-high 18 for the War Eagles, including three 3-pointers in the second half.
Cole Segraves scored nine for the Warriors.
White County visits King’s Ridge Christian at 7 tonight in Alpharetta. Chestatee plays host to North Hall at 7:30 on Tuesday.