Some clutch rebounds and a couple big baskets made up for plenty of frustrations at the free throw line Wednesday for Cherokee Bluff as it held off North Hall 52-47 in Gainesville.
Cade Simmons had a second-effort basket for the Bears (3-1, 1-0 Region 7-3A) with just over two minutes left to play, then senior Corey Thomas used his height inside for a basket to keep it a two-score lead with 1:30 left to play. Carlos Marlow pulled down two big rebounds for Cherokee Bluff in the final minutes: one on a missed free throw by Shad Dabney and another on the defensive end.
Trailing by four points in the final two minutes, North Hall’s Eli Campbell drained a 3-pointer to take it down to a 2-point Bears lead in the final minute.
Before the final seconds drained off the clock, Dabney, who was 4 of 16 on free throws in the second half, made the front end of two shots at the line to lock it up for Cherokee Bluff.
Thomas had a team-high 14 points for Cherokee Bluff. Dabney and Marlow each finished with 12 points for the Bears.
For North Hall (1-3, 0-1), Robert Terry led the way with 12 points.
Up next, Cherokee Bluff visits Banks County at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Homer.
North Hall hosts West Hall at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
NORTH HALL GIRLS 62, CHEROKEE BLUFF 45: After going down 17-9 in the first period, the Lady Trojans responded with 24 points in the second quarter. Rylee McCall hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter and had a game-high 22 points for the Lady Trojans. McCall also hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter, giving North Hall its first double-digit lead of the night. Then in the fourth quarter, she added five more points.
Kristina Peach added 12 points for the Lady Trojans.
For Cherokee Bluff, Kaitlyn Cook finished with 14 points and Taylor Click added 11.