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Lanierland: Chestatee girls dominate against Flowery Branch, win 54-33
Chestatee's Emma Easterwood (5) dribbles around Flowery Branch's Jada Ellingham (13) during the first round of the Lanierland on Monday in Gainesville. Photo by Paul Sasso MV Photo Concepts

The Chestatee girls basketball team stunned Flowery Branch Monday afternoon, running out to a 21-point first half lead en route to a dominating 54-33 win in the first round of Lanierland. The Lady War Eagles made eight 3-point shots and outscored the Lady Falcons 21-7 in the second quarter in the wall-to-wall victory that Chestatee coach Sutton Shirley said was particularly satisfying for his team that has struggled against Flowery Branch over the past couple seasons.  

“Flowery Branch has been a monkey on our back,” he said. “This is the ninth time we’ve played them in the past three years, and they’re tough. … The kids had to play their tails off. They had to play harder than Flowery Branch, and today, they did.”

Logan Wiggins and Riley Black scored 13 points apiece to pace the Lady War Eagles. Ashlee Locke led Flowery Branch with 13 points.

Chestatee opened the game with an early 3-pointer from Annie Dollyhigh, and never looked back. 

The Lady War Eagles went on top 12-5 one quarter in, and really started to turn up the heat offensively after that. 

Black and Easterwood both hit 3s in the first two minutes of the second frame to extend the lead, but Chestatee really came alive in the back half of the period. The Lady War Eagles held the Lady Falcons without a made basket from the field over the final five minutes of the first half, rattling off a 15-1 run that put Chestatee on top by 21. 

The Lady War Eagles turned offense into defense, drawing a pair of crucial charges in the middle of the span to keep the momentum going and take a 33-12 lead into the halftime break. 

Chestatee kept things going in the third, getting a steal and score from Emma Easterwood to start the half. 

Black hit her third 3-pointer of the game with about five minutes to play in the third that gave the Lady War Eagles a 28-point advantage, their largest of the day. 

Locke put together a bit of a run over the back half of the third frame to get Flowery Branch back to within 20 points, but the Lady Falcons never made it closer than that.

Up next, Chestatee will take on the winner of Lakeview Academy and East Hall tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. Flowery Branch will go up against the loser of the Lakeview East Hall game tomorrow at 11 a.m. in the consolation bracket.

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