DAHLONEGA — It was 29 days ago that the East Hall boys basketball team won its last game.
Combine that in-season drought with a three-game losing streak and it’s no wonder the Vikings were able to overcome having 36 turnovers to beat Class A Wesleyan 58-40 on Friday night at the North Georgia-Achasta Challenge in Dahlonega.
"It’s good to have more points then the other team at the end," East Hall coach Joe Dix said. "We’re just happy about that."
On a night when the offense averaged nine turnovers per quarter and scored the fewest number of points in a year, East Hall’s (2-3) defense made up for it.
The Vikings caused 24 turnovers, had 17 steals, took 10 charges and outrebounded the Wolves (4-4) 33-24.
"We’ve been bustin’ them pretty good," Dix said of practice with his team. "We wanted to make sure that when we don’t shoot it well, which we haven’t been, we can still do some things on the defensive end that will help get us points."
Leading by only four at the start of the second quarter, East Hall outscored Wesleyan 15-5 in the period to take control of the game.
The Vikings began on a 4-0 run capped by a Greg Edwards steal that, when all was said and done, resulted in a Josten Hopkins layup.
East Hall took its first double-digit lead on three straight 3-pointers; two by Kevin Blackwell and one from Kiante Young.
With a 14-point lead, East Hall didn’t get complacent and opened the second half the same as it ended the first — shooting well.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Edwards, with a Wesleyan score mixed in, gave the Vikings an 18-point lead at the start of the third.
East Hall would hover between being ahead by 18 and 16 points until four minutes left in the game when Dustin Duckworth gave his team its first 20-point lead with a three-point play.
"I thought Dustin (Duckworth) had his best game of the year," Dix said. "We talked to him about being more forceful on the glass and he did that tonight."
Duckworth finished with a game-high 12 points and added six rebounds. Blackwell and Edwards each added nine for the Vikings.
Wesleyan was led by Griffin Schamp who had 11 points.
East Hall returns to action at 6:30 tonight when it plays Buford in Day 2 of the North Georgia-Achasta Challenge.
Milton girls 54, East Hall 44
Led by Kris Puthoff-King’s 18 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists, the Lady Eagles were able to fight off a late East Hall rally to win Friday night at the North Georgia-Achasta Challenge.
Milton led by 15 midway through the third quarter, but the Lady Vikings cut the deficit to six with a 9-2 run capped by four straight points by freshman Morgan Jackson.
The Lady Eagles managed to push the lead back to 15 by the start of the fourth only to have East Hall rally again, but it was too little too late.
Kayneshia Maddox led East Hall with 12 points, Jackson added 11 and Symone Hampton nine.
Kimberly Spaid added 13 for Milton.
The East Hall girls next play at 5 tonight against Buford in the North Georgia-Achasta Challenge.
North Hall boys 65, Buford 45
Down by two points after the first quarter, the Trojans outscored Buford 28-11 in the second period sparking a win Friday at the North Georgia-Achasta Challenge.
North Hall was led by freshman Kanler Coker who had a game-high 17 points to go with six rebounds and two steals. Ethan Satterfield added 13 for the Trojans.
Buford was led by Zac Lynn with 10 points. TJ Shipes and Andrew Swope each added eight for the Wolves.
North Hall returns to action at 3:30 p.m. today against Wesleyan while Buford will play East Hall at 6:30 tonight.
Buford girls 67, North Hall 41
Blanche Alverson scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Class AA No. 1-ranked Lady Wolves to a win Friday at the North Georgia-Achasta Challenge.
The Lady Wolves, playing a stifling full-court trap, amassed 20 steals over the course of three quarters while outscoring North Hall 50-27.
Katie Lynn, Alysha Rudnik and Andraya Carter each added seven points for Buford which had 10 players contribute.
North Hall was led by Mallory Rich with 10 points and Shannon Haire with seven.
The Lady Trojans next play Milton at 2 p.m. today, Buford will play East Hall at 5 tonight in the North Georgia-Achasta Challenge.