The Region 8-AAA girls title is back in Franklin County, but it didn’t arrive easily.
Ahead by five points late in the fourth quarter, the Lady Lions had to stave off a last-ditch effort by Walnut Grove to hold on to a 49-46 win during Saturday’s Region 8-AAA title game at Chestatee High.
Kay Wynn led all scorers with 21 points and Jacquie Williams-Perry scored 14 points and pulled down at 21 rebounds for Franklin County, which won its eighth region title in the last 11 years.
The Lady Lions (19-10) will be the No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAA and host the loser of the Region 6-AAA third-place game between Central-Carroll and Troup in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament.
As the No. 2 seed, Walnut Grove (26-2) will host the winner of that game. North Hall secured the third seed with a victory over Chestatee earlier in the day.
Walnut Grove kept the game close in the third and fourth quarter despite playing without leading scorer Gia Banks, who scored eight points before injuring her ankle shortly after halftime. The Warriors also had to play the majority of the second half without center Miaya Crowder, who scored six points and had seven rebounds before fouling out with 1:40 left to play and Franklin County leading by four.
NORTH HALL GIRLS 57, CHESTATEE 44: The Lady Trojans took advantage of a foul-prone Chestatee squad, making 36 of 47 free throw attempts in their win Saturday in the third-place game of the Region 8-AAA tournament.
McKenna Rushton, who went 10-for-11 from the free throw line, led North Hall (15-13) with 14 points. Taylor Swoszowski and Sarah Paschall each scored 11, while Mary Kate Rushton added 10 points for the Lady Trojans, who earned the No. 3 seed and will play the loser of the Region 6-AAA championship game between Troup and Carrollton in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament.
Sam Brown and Peyton Robertson each scored nine points for Chestatee (22-6), which plays the winner of the Region 6-AAA title game.