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East Hall hammers Pickens
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The Blitz: Player of the Week Connor Shaw

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The Vikings continued their hot shooting, hitting 50 percent from the field and making nine 3-pointers en route to a 7-38 win Friday night at North Hall.

With the win, the Vikings will play North Hall at 8:30 p.m. Monday at Flowery Branch in the region semifinals and advance to the Class AAA state playoffs.

“Most of our guys have never gone to the state playoffs as key contributors,” East Hall coach Joe Dix said. “I know they’re excited and I’m excited for them.

“We are far from talking about a region championship though because now we want to win the next one to host the state tournament.”

Greg Edwards (11) and Charles Perry (10) led 14 East Hall scorers in the win.

“(Knock on wood) we hope we keep shooting this way for at least five or six more games,” Dix said. “These guys have confidence in their shots and they’re believing everything they shoot is going in and, frankly, it takes our team game to a whole other level.”

East Hall led by just one point with the clock winding down at the end of the first quarter before J.C. Hampton hit a fade-away 3-pointer from the top of key to give the Vikings a four-point advantage.

That shot set the tone for East Hall, as the Vikings outscored Pickens 23-4 in the second quarter and hit buzzer beaters at the end of the next two quarters on their way to a rout.

Edwards was the catalyst for the second quarter offensive onslaught, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers over the course of the run to put East Hall ahead by 18.

However, it wasn’t just East Hall’s offensive effort that led to the win. The Vikings caused 23 Pickens’ turnovers and held Dragons’ leading scorer Jordan Shaw to just nine points.

“We’ve talked about (our defense) and were solid at it tonight,” Dix said. “We did a good job on Jordan Shaw, who’s a heckuva player and I thought we did a good job overall.”

Kevin Blackwell added nine points for East Hall, while Chaz Cheeks and J.C. Hampton each scored eight.

Pickens was led by Bob Jasperse with 15 points. Ian Stephens added nine points for the Dragons.

Pickens season is now complete.

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