GAINESVILLE— East Hall High senior Trevor Bishop feels like things are finally starting to come together for the Vikings.
After a loss to Flowery Branch earlier this season, Bishop was unsure of how the Vikings’ season would pan out.
Things seem to be headed in the right direction as East Hall breezed past Lakeview Academy with an 82-46 victory in the semifinals of the Jackson EMC Lanierland Basketball Tournament on Friday night at East Hall.
With the victory, the Vikings (3-1) find themselves in the Lanierland championship game for the 14th consecutive year. East Hall will play Flowery Branch at 8:30 p.m. tonight at East Hall High.
"It was a good win tonight," East Hall coach Joe Dix said. "It’s always a good thing to make it to the (championship game) of Lanierland. I was very pleased with the guys’ effort tonight."
The sixth-seeded Vikings came out strong, thanks in large part to the duo of point guard Dedric Ware and forward Patrick Hoggard. The two combined for 11 first quarter points, guiding the Vikings to a 22-10 lead after a quarter.
The Vikings continued their hot streak in the second quarter, going on a 10-point run, led by Ware once again.
Ware started the run with a wide open 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving the Vikings a 29-16 lead. He then stole the ball from a Lakeview guard and scored a layup, forcing the Lions to take an early timeout.
"Dedric (Ware) has been playing great all year long," Dix said. "And Patrick is one of the most improved players in Hall County. The kid was 5-foot-5 at the end of his freshman year, and now he’s grown to 6-foot-8.
"(Patrick’s) just really taking advantage of his opportunities."
Ware finished the game with 18 points, three assists and two steals. Hoggard added 13 points and three rebounds, Bishop finished with 11 points and three steals and Josh Chapman scored eight points and had five rebounds.
"The win feels good," Ware said. "East Hall has been in finals for the last 14 years, and we’re just trying to keep it up.
"We played pretty good tonight."
David Pruett led the Lions (4-3) with 14 points and Colin King added 10.
Despite the win, East Hall wants to prove that their loss to Flowery Branch earlier in the season was a fluke.
"We definitely want revenge on Flowery Branch," Bishop said. "We are going to come out with a different mindset and bring it to them from the beginning of the game."
"We can’t wait to play Flowery Branch," Ware added.
"We have a lot to prove, and we want to go out with our seventh straight championship."