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East Hall girls headed to state quarterfinals
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The East Hall girls basketball team didn’t mind taking things to overtime, or double overtime for that matter in the second round of the Class AAA state tournament Thursday.

The Lady Vikings got six points from Morgan Jackson in the second overtime against Stephens County to secure a 77-74 victory in
Toccoa. With the win, East Hall is headed to the state quarterfinals to face Columbia (24-5) at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center in Dalton.

“I told our team after the game, that I don’t think they understand what they accomplished yet,” East Hall coach Joey Rider said.

“To go on the road in the Sweet 16, to a tough environment and be able to come out with the victory is very satisfying to see.”

Jackson finished with a season-high 23 points for the Lady Vikings, and Natalie Johnson added a season-high 16 for East Hall. For the game, East Hall hit 14 3-pointers against the Lady Indians.

The biggest of the 3-pointers came from Shauna Butler to tie the score at 71-71 at the end of the first overtime. In the second overtime, Jackson came through with a jump shot with 32 seconds remaining to take the lead at 76-74.

Raven Crawford led Stephens County with 24 points and Kimberly Major added 16.

East Hall’s quarterfinal opponent, No. 5-ranked Columbia, qualified with a 53-37 win against Flowery Branch in the second round Wednesday night.

Rider says that they’ve got a lot to prepare for in one day, namely Lady Eagles’ 6-foot-4 center Akila McDonald and point guard Mecca Frost.

“Columbia is a different kind of animal,” Rider said. “We have to figure out how to (beat) the 1-3-1 defense that they use, and try to find a way to stop the big center they have.

“That’s a lot to try to get done in just one day.”
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