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HS basketball: Area teams take 3 of 4 in 7-AAA/8-AAA challenge
North Hall’s Chase Syfan takes a shot as Hart County’s Lorendick David defends during a game Monday at Chestatee High School. - photo by The Times
North Hall coach Benjie Wood couldn’t have expected a flawless performance under the circumstances Monday. The Trojans (0-1) were playing with three regular starters back with the team for the first time since the football season ended just a few days ago.

“I thought our kids competed hard tonight,” North Hall coach Benjie Wood said. “We just didn’t play well.”

The Trojans led by as many as eight points in the first half before Hart County went on to outscore North Hall 26-17 in the third quarter and take a 79-71 win in the Battle of the Regions of 7-AAA vs. 8-AAA at Chestatee High.

It turned out to be a frustrating night for North Hall. The Trojans finished with 20 missed layups, and didn’t protect the basketball as well as necessary to win, Wood added. North Hall’s Kanler Coker only played about 12 minutes after getting in early foul trouble.

“There were a lot of mistakes tonight,” Wood said. “But I think they’re things we’ll improve on and get better.”

The main catalyst to the Bulldogs’ third-quarter run were 3-point baskets from Donterrius Clinkscales and Quinn Sturgill in the final two minutes of the period that gave Hart County a 56-50 lead. Clinkscales (19), Terry Brewer (17), Johnny Christopher (13) and Stephon Eades (10) all finished in double-digits scoring for the Bulldogs (1-1).

After a 3-point play by Clinkscales to open the fourth quarter, Hart County built a 59-50 lead. North Hall battled back on the next possession with an offsetting 3-point play by Robert Humphrey.

Shortly after the Trojans drew a charge on Hart County’s next possession, Lance White made a layup to draw the Trojans back to within 61-55.

Still, Hart County managed to put the game away with a strong inside presence. Behind layups from Sturgill and Eades, the Bulldogs pushed the lead back to 67-55.

In the final minutes, North Hall senior Chase Syfan hit a pair of 3-pointers to bring the Trojans back to within six points.
Robby Hill led the Trojans with 20 points, including a 3-pointer with 6:34 left in the third to build their biggest lead of the second half at 37-32. He also had a steal and easy layup in the final minutes of the game.

Syfan (11) and Trevor Ross (10) were also in double digits scoring for North Hall.

North Hall faces Oconee County at 5:30 p.m. today in Hartwell. Hart County plays host to Chestatee at 8:30 tonight in Hartwell.

Mary Kate Rushton hit the front-end of a pair of free throws for the Lady Trojans with :23 seconds remaining in the game, then knocked down a pair of free throws with only six seconds left to pull out the victory Monday at Chestatee High.

After trailing for part of the fourth quarter, North Hall (1-0) got back on top 58-55 with a layup from Sarah Paschall with 1:40 left to play in the game. Mary Kate Rushton (18) and McKenna Rushton (14) led the Lady Trojans (1-0) in scoring.

Hart County (0-1) took a 46-44 lead on a 3-pointer from Shakeitha Curry with :44 left on the clock in the third quarter. The Lady Bulldogs hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter.

Brittney Burton (15 points) and Tia Jones (11) led Hart County in scoring.

North Hall faces Oconee County at 4 p.m. today in Hartwell. Hart County plays host to Chestatee at 7 p.m. tonight in Hartwell.

Peyton Robertson finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and was 11-for-12 shooting free throws Monday at Chestatee. The Lady War Eagles (2-1) took an early lead at 15-6 through the first quarter of play.

Leading by one after halftime, Chestatee outscored Oconee County 13-8 in the third quarter to preserve the victory.

Darby Rogers led the Lady Warriors (0-1) with 17 points.

Chestatee visits Hart County at 7 tonight in Hartwell. Oconee County faces North Hall at Oconee County at 4 p.m. today in Hartwell.

Lamar Brooks hit five 3-pointers in the second half for the War Eagles (2-2) Monday night at Chestatee. His 3-point basket with 46 seconds left to play gave the War Eagles the eventual winning basket.

Chestatee trailed 37-30 early in the fourth quarter, then Brooks hit back-to-back 3-pointers. He finished the game with 23 points.

Preston Smith finished with 12 points for the War Eagles.

Bo Larkins (14) and Mike Defelice (10) were the Warriors’ leading scorers.

Chestatee visits Hart County at 8:30 tonight in Hartwell. Oconee County (0-2) faces North Hall at 5:30 tonight in Hartwell.
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