GAINESVILLE — The Westminster Lady Wildcats defeated North Hall 65-48 on Saturday night at North Hall in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament, ending the Lady Trojans' season.
North Hall entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AAA, and was coming off a 50-36 loss to Gainesville in the 7-AAA championship. Westminster, however, was fresh off a 52-29 victory over Southside in its respective region tournament, making it the third seed from Region 5-AAA. Westminster (21-6) opened the game with a 12-0 run, and led 14-1 at the end of the first quarter, giving up only a free throw late in the period.
North Hall (19-11) tallied its first point six minutes into the game on an Elizabeth Williams free throw.
Williams was a solid 7-for-9 from the free throw line for the game.
The Lady Trojans bounced back in the second quarter, outscoring Westminster 14-12.
North Hall struggled to get off clean shots in the third quarter, and was outscored 14-9, thus the Lady Wildcats extended their 26-15 halftime lead to 40-24 heading into the final period.
North Hall played a hard-fought quarter, but Westminster matched the Lady Trojans point for point, outscoring North Hall 25-24 in the fourth quarter en route to the 17-point victory.
Westminster never relinquished the lead, and North Hall was only able to pull within eight points briefly during the second quarter.
The Lady Trojans had finally found an offensive rhythm with seniors Letiecia Davenport and Williams in the fourth quarter, pulling off a couple of three-point plays and cutting the deficit to 10 points.
However, the North Hall defense was unable to slow down a potent Westminster offense, which tallied most of its points inside the paint.
North Hall was unable to establish control of the boards and struggled to grab defensive rebounds, which allowed for second- and third-chance opportunities for the Lady Wildcats.
Westminster was led by senior Sandra Lynne Fryhofer, who had 24 points. Fryhofer scored 14 of her points in the second half , and made good on all four of her free throw opportunities.
Sophomore Tindall Sewell added 16 points while freshman Olivia Utt chipped in with 11 points for Westminster, which as a team was 11-for-20 from the free throw line.
Sewell and Utt combined for 17 second-half points.
Westminster had eight different scorers in the win, while the starters contributed 60 of the total points.
Davenport paced the Lady Trojans with 23 points, 16 coming in the second half. She also converted 11 of her 12 free throw attempts.
Williams added 9 points and sophomore Taylor Bishop contributed seven in the losing effort.
Bishop provided a late spark for North Hall during the fourth quarter, hitting the game’s only 3-pointer.
Starters Ana Porras, Bradee Burrell and Megan Carr combined for nine points in the loss.
As a team, the Lady Trojans were 21-for-25 from the free throw line.
Westminster advances to the second round of the state tournament and will take on the winner of the Carrollton and Elbert County game Wednesday.