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Girls Athlete of the Week: Banks County's Taylor Kennedy
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Honor Roll

Basketball

Camille Anderson, Buford: Recorded 16 points in a win against Dawson County on Friday.

Jatasia Bailey, East Hall: Scored 17 points in a win against Flowery Branch on Saturday.

Maia Booker, West Hall: Scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a win against North Hall on Friday.

Sam Brown, Chestatee: Tallied 15 points in a win against Stephens County last Tuesday.

Ansley Chester, North Hall: Tallied 18 points in a win against Fannin County last Tuesday.

Mackenzie Darrah, Buford: Scored 18 points in a win against Dawson County on Friday.

Kaelyn Gattis, West Hall: Recorded 19 points in a win against North Hall on Friday and 14 against Pace Academy on Saturday.

Carly Gilreath, Dawson County: Scored 14 points in a win against East Hall last Monday.

Taylor Handte, Lakeview: Scored 17 points against Towns County on Friday.

Maegan Kenimer, Chestatee: Scored 17 points in a win against Stephens County last Tuesday.

Dani Lacko, Flowery Branch: Tallied 16 points in a win against Clarke Central last Tuesday.

Schyler Miller, Lakeview: Recorded 14 points in a win against Commerce last Tuesday.

Kristina Nelson, Buford: Scored 21 points in a win against White County last Tuesday.

Stephanie Patton, Towns County: Put up 24 points in a win against Lakeview on Friday.

Taylor Phillips, North Hall: Scored 20 points in a win against Fannin County last Tuesday.

Jacy Ramey, Flowery Branch: Recorded 21 points in a win against Gainesville on Friday.

Sheyenne Seabolt, Dawson County: Had 17 points and 16 rebounds in a win against East Hall last Monday.

Dakota Sullens, Lumpkin County: Tallied 15 points and had 13 rebounds in a win against Walnut Grove on Friday.

Tavia Sykes, Flowery Branch: Tallied 21 points in a win against Gainesville on Friday and 15 points against East Hall on Saturday.

Audrey Weiner, Heritage Academy: Tallied 17 points in a win against Young Americans Christian last Tuesday.

Swimming

Caitlin Doran, West Hall: Won the 200 freestyle at the Hall County Championships last weekend.

Ashley Johnson, North Hall: Won the 100 freestyle at the Hall County Championships last weekend.

Alex Miller, Flowery Branch: Won the 100 backstroke and the 50 freestyle along with helping win two relay events at the Hall County Championships last weekend.

Sarah Robles, Flowery Branch: Won the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke along with helping win two relay events at the Hall County Championships last weekend.

Morgan Ryder, Flowery Branch: Won the 100 butterfly at the Hall County Championships last weekend.

Bethany Wicker, Flowery Branch: Won the 200 individual medley at the Hall County Championships last weekend.

Compiled by Kelsey Williamson

In addition to being a great basketball player, Banks County’s Taylor Kennedy is also a stellar student and an incredible leader, according to Lady Leopards coach Jerry King.

Both on the court and in the hallways at school, Kennedy is always looking for ways to help her teammates and fellow students.

“I’ve had great leaders ahead of me, and I’ve had older sisters who were great leaders too, and I think in order to be a great leader you have to be able to serve others,” Kennedy said.

At school, King said that Kennedy is “one of the best kids in our school” who excels at academics and wants everyone around her to succeed. On the basketball court, even more of her skills are on display as she leads the Lady Leopards.

“She sort of runs the show, but if she’s not scoring, someone else is scoring because of her,” King said.

Last week, Kennedy was, indeed, the one doing the scoring. She recorded 19 points, 15 of which came off 3-pointers, in a win against Dawson County last Tuesday and added 15 against Oconee County on Saturday.

For her efforts, Kennedy is The Times Girls Athlete of the Week.

“She’s gotten really good at her ball handling, and she’s actually shooting about 40 percent from the free-throw line,” King said. “It’s really hard to guard her because she can go to the basket or she can pull up and shoot a 3.”

In the game against Dawson County, the Lady Leopards were down by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter, but Kennedy helped her teammates focus on the task at hand and together, they overcame the Tigers.

“We scored 25 points in the fourth quarter,” King said. “Ten of those were Taylor’s. She hit two 3-pointers down the stretch that really helped us.”

“Dawson County is a very good competitor, but we always try to go into the game not focusing on the team we’re playing but the game of basketball,” Kennedy said.

“The first few quarters were kind of going slow, but others on my team were scoring really well. Near the end we needed to step up our game and make the shots. It all just really came down to giving it all you’ve got at the end.”

When the weekend rolled around, the Lady Leopards may not have been under pressure from their opponent like they were against Dawson County, but the venue certainly added nerves and excitement.

“One thing that helped playing Oconee was that we were playing in Philips Arena before the Hawks game,” Kennedy said. “I just wanted to take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was so nervous, but I was so excited and felt so lucky to play in such a huge place that is so special.”

Kennedy is able to find motivation and energy in a number of different places, be it a region opponent, a large venue or simply her teammates. King and Kennedy agree that this year’s team has amazing chemistry that helps them succeed in difficult situations.

“The chemistry with my teammates is phenomenal,” Kennedy said. “This is the closest I’ve ever been with a team. It’s great because if I make a mistake I know they wont hold it against me. It’s nice knowing that they have my back.

“There’s five juniors and we’ve all played together our entire lives along with the sophomore Kaitlyn (Duncan) and senior McKenna (Rylee), so we know where the others are going to be.”

The team has a special relationship with Rylee due to her being the lone senior on this year’s squad, and as the end of the regular season rapidly approaches, Kennedy and the Lady Leopards are hoping to make it special for her.

“This Friday is senior night, and we really want to give McKenna a good night and really play hard for her and try to continue that support into region play and continue our season as long as possible,” Kennedy said.

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