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High school basketball: Flowery Branch girls rally for region win against East Hall
Flowery Branch
Flowery Branch's Ashlee Locke goes up for a rebound against East Hall on Tuesday in Flowery Branch. Photo by Nathan Berg

Flowery Branch started slow in Tuesday’s Region 8-4A home matchup against East Hall, but the Lady Falcons turned things around after an early deficit to take down the Lady Vikings 54-46. The win gets Flowery Branch to a perfect 2-0 to start region play.

“Any time you get a win in region it’s big,” Lady Falcons coach Courtney Newton-Gonzalez said after the game. “We know we’ve got to fight every night in region. We’ve got a very tough region. Just proud of how they came out and focused. We let them have a couple runs, but I’m proud of the way we’ve bounced back from that.”

Ashlee Locke put together a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double for Flowery Branch, while Bella Brick added 15 points. East Hall’s Callie Dale scored 12 points, connecting on a 3-pointer in all four quarters, but the Lady Vikings didn’t have the firepower late to overcome the Lady Falcons. 

East Hall started things off on a high note, picking up layups from Maleah Harrison and Carly Campbell and a deep 3 from Callie Dale in the first four minutes of the game to give the Lady Vikings an early lead. 

It was short lived; however, as Flowery Branch rattled off an 11-2 run over the second half of the frame, capped off with a clean look to Locke inside with 12 seconds left in the frame that put the Lady Falcons up 13-9 with one period in the books. 

Flowery Branch heated up even more in the second quarter, relinquishing another 3-pointer to Dale, but hitting on two 3s of their own from Bella Brick to pull further ahead. 

East Hall’s Alexis Burce scored the final 5 points of the half to close the deficit a bit, but the Lady Falcons still took a 27-20 lead into the halftime break.

Flowery Branch kept the foot on the gas to start the third quarter, scoring the first 8 points of the frame to take a 15-point lead that East Hall could never fully recover from. 

“The first three minutes of the second half are very key to us,” Newton-Gonzalez said. “That was the message (at halftime). We’re either going to let them get back into the game, or we’re going to extend the lead. I’m proud of how they locked in, moved the ball and knocked down shots.”

Lady Vikings sophomore Maleah Harrison rolled a 3 in off the rim at the third-quarter buzzer that got East Hall to within 9 points going into the fourth, but it wasn’t enough for the visiting squad.

The two teams played a tight fourth quarter, but the Lady Vikings could never close the deficit. Up next, Flowery Branch will host Jefferson on Thursday. East Hall will host Chestatee on Friday.

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