GAINESVILLE— East Hall high basketball player Sada Wheeler entered Friday night’s game with Flowery Branch seeking revenge.
The Lady Vikings (6-2) lost to Flowery Branch 29-28 on Nov. 30, and another loss to the Lady Falcons wasn’t something that Wheeler wanted to experience.
She and the Lady Vikings got what they wanted, as East Hall cruised past Flowery Branch (4-2) with a 48-24 victory in the semifinals of the Jackson EMC Lanierland Basketball Tournament at the East Hall High gymnasium.
With the victory, East Hall advances to the championship game of Lanierland for the second consecutive year, and will play North Hall at 7 tonight at East Hall.
"This win was very important to the team," Wheeler said with a smile. "We all wanted to get back at Flowery Branch tonight. We had to show (Flowery Branch) that we were last year’s state champs for a reason."
"The win definitely feels good," East Hall coach Joey Rider added. "Lanierland is so huge here in Hall County.
"To get to the finals in the Lanierland is huge, and I think that the people here in this community know how special it is."
According to Rider, East Hall wanted to open up the second half and add to its 21-12 halftime lead.
The Lady Vikings were successful, as a constant dose of full-court pressure and a steady helping of patience on offense proved to be too much for a young Lady Falcons’ team to contain.
Wheeler guided the Lady Vikings to their third quarter onslaught, scoring 12 points, including 10 to close the quarter.
Wheeler finished the game with 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
"We weren’t getting Sada the ball enough in the first half," Rider said.
"We weren’t being patient enough on offense and that is something we stressed at halftime.
"(Wheeler) just does so much for us."
The Lady Falcons were held to single digits in all four quarters, as East Hall forward Tierra Benton recorded three blocks. She also scored six points and pulled down eight rebounds.
Molly May led the Lady Falcons with 14 points, including six in the third quarter. Kayla Smith added six points for Flowery Branch.
The Lady Falcons will play Gainesville at 4 p.m. today for third place.