CANTON — It’s really no surprise that North Hall and Flowery Branch are still standing for the Area 7-AAA championship in volleyball.
Last season, they faced off in the semifinals and finals with the Lady Trojans winning Area 7-AAA bragging rights and a No. 1 seed to the state tournament for the second consecutive season.
The bracket this season is looking very much the same.
Flowery Branch and North Hall will play Saturday for the shot at a berth in the finals of the Area 7-AAA tournament at Creekview High in Canton. The winner of that match will face the home standing No. 7-ranked Lady Grizzlies (28-13) to see who carries the No. 1 spot to the Class AAA state tournament. Time for the North Hall/Flowery Branch match is still to be determined.
“We’ve been in this situation before,” Flowery Branch coach Bryan Mavis said after losing to Creekview 25-19, 19-25, 25-20 on Thursday night. “We have several girls on this team still from the 2005 team that had to battle out of the loser’s bracket to qualify for state.”
“I had a feeling we might see Flowery Branch again,” North Hall coach Emi Hughes said. “We’re glad to be playing again on Saturday, and just want to keep the momentum going.”
The Flowery Branch/North Hall winner has to beat Creekview twice Saturday to earn the Area 7-AAA title. The Lady Falcons (32-10) battled the Lady Grizzlies to three games Thursday night to see who would have home court advantage for the final day of action on Saturday.
Flowery Branch closed to within 22-20 of Creekview in Game 3 of the winners bracket, but couldn’t take the lead. Lady Falcons coach Bryan Mavis said the difference in the match came down to mental lapses by his team.
“We had a lot of errors,” Mavis said. “I don’t know if it was the stress of the match, or playing in front of the crowd. But we’ve done all the drills and practiced working in all the situations before.”
Jennica Ramey had 19 assists and a pair of kills for Flowery Branch. Lindsay Porter added five kills, two blocks for the Lady Falcons, and Megan Grewett had eight kills. Danielle Miller added four kills, three aces and an assist for Flowery Branch.
The loser of the Flowery Branch/North Hall match is going to state as the No. 3 seed. West Forsyth already secured the No. 4 seed after winning against winning against Johnson then losing to North Hall on Thursday at Creekview.
North Hall knocks off West Forsyth, Chestatee
The Lady Trojans advanced to the final day of play in the Area 7-AAA tourney with a 25-23, 25-13 win against West Forsyth, which followed a 25-20, 25-18 win against Chestatee.
Evann Rowland had 11 kills and 23 digs for the Lady Trojans in the two matches.
Jessica Porter had 16 digs for the Lady War Eagles in their final match of the season. Chestatee’s season is now complete.
Johnson outs West Hall, falls to West Forsyth
Katie Clark had 10 kills, four blocks and an ace for the Lady Knights en route to a 28-26, 25-12 win against West Hall in the elimination bracket. Shelley Farley added 17 assists and an ace for Johnson (26-14) in its second win of the season against the Lady Spartans.
Jordan Gustavel had five kills and a blocked shot for the Lady Knights, and Annabeth Peace added four kills and a pair of aces. Jessica Hollis led West Hall in its final match of the season with 14 digs. Abigail Grindle had nine digs and Tonya Bennett added three kills for the Lady Spartans.
After the win, Johnson lost to West Forsyth 25-21, 25-20. Annabeth Peace led the Lady Knights with four kills, 10 digs, assist and ace. Laura Gazaway had nine digs for Johnson, and Shelley Farley had a pair of kills, two aces and 11 assists. Johnson’s season is now complete. West Hall’s season is now complete.
Chestatee edges Pickens
Alura Roe had 15 kills and a blocked shot for the Lady War Eagles en route to a 28-26, 14-25, 25-9 win against the Lady Dragons in the elimination bracket. Madisen Yates had five kills and two blocked shots for Chestatee, and Jessica Porter added six saves. Charlotte Hill had a team-high 11 assists for the Lady War Eagles.