By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lanierland girls: Flowery Branch, Gainesville cruise in first round
1229Lanierland 0001
Flowery Branch’s Taniyah Worth (22) goes up for a shot as West Hall’s Megan English (31) and Anna Mckendree (14) attempt to guard her Monday during the first-round Lanierland game at Johnson High. - photo by Erin O. Smith

2015 Lanierland Tournament 
Tuesday at East Hall High
Second round

10:30 a.m. – Lakeview girls vs. West Hall

Noon – Chestatee girls vs. Johnson

1:30 p.m. – Chestatee boys vs. Johnson

3 p.m. – North Hall girls vs. Flowery Branch

4:30 p.m. – North Hall boys vs. East Hall

6 p.m. – East Hall girls vs. Gainesville 

7:30 p.m. – West Hall boys vs. Flowery Branch

Monday's scores

East Hall girls 48, Chestatee 39

North Hall girls 67, Lakeview Academy 56

Flowery Branch girls 67, West Hall 44

Gainesville girls 56, Johnson 21

Flowery Branch High’s girls basketball team just keeps moving forward.

Despite a slow start to the first half Monday, the Lady Falcons (12-0) remained unbeaten with a win over West Hall (5-5), 67-44, in the opening round of Lanierland.

“West Hall is a really good team and we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Flowery Branch coach Courtney Newton said. “I wasn’t pleased with how we came out to start the game. I thought we were a little too jacked up and a little too excited. That kind of showed in how we were playing.”

With the win, Flowery Branch will face North Hall, who beat Lakeview Monday, in the semifinals at 3 p.m. today at East Hall. West Hall moves into the consolation bracket and will meet Lakeview at 10:30 a.m. at East Hall.

In the second half, Flowery Branch began to separate themselves behind the post play of Julianne Sutton.

Sutton posted eight points in the third quarter, tying West Hall’s team total for the period.

Sutton made four of her five free throw attempts in the fourth to help the Lady Falcons put up 18. She finished with 13 points in the game.

“(Sutton)’s been our backbone for a lot of games,” Newton said. “She got in foul trouble in the first half. I was really proud of how she jumped back and attacked the basket and played in the second half.”

The Lady Spartans chased the Falcons to a three-point deficit in the first quarter and a 34-27 game at the break.

Maddie Hetzel was on the leading end for the Lady Falcons off the start.

The guard hit back-to-back 3-point attempts before a breakaway layup in the first quarter.

Then, in reverse order, she did the same in the second. A steal and pass ahead to Hetzel resulted in another two points for Flowery Branch.

Hetzel followed that with two more 3-pointers in the quarter to finish off her team-high 16-point performance.

"To be honest, we haven’t had to rely on that all season,” Newton said. “We’ve had really balanced scoring and haven’t had to rely on one kid, but the fact she was able to hit those shots and jumpstart us was great. I know we have kids with that capability, we just haven’t needed it yet. It’s good to see in the moment that we need it, somebody stepped up and made big shots.”

For West Hall, Anna McKendree put on a show.

The sophomore guard hit a step-back 3-pointer and then a stand-still trey for six of the Lady Spartans’ 10 first-quarter points.

In the second, she put defenders on skates with crossovers and other moves, drawing audible reactions from the crowd, as she drove to the basket.

McKendree had nine in the second quarter and finished the night with 21 to lead all scorers in the game.

Teammate Macy Passmore had 11 points in the game, pouring each one in from the free throw line (11 of 17).

EAST HALL GIRLS 48, CHESTATEE 39: Tipping off the initial game of the 56th edition of the Lanierland tournament, Kylah Mize opened up scoring for the day as East Hall (10-2) won the tip and Mize drained a 3-pointer.

East Hall will face Gainesville at 6 p.m. today at East Hall. Chestatee falls into the consolation bracket and will play Johnson at noon today at East Hall.

After the basket from Mize, the Lady Vikings never trailed in the contest.

Chestatee (5-7) was within four at halftime behind nine points from Lindsey Caudell, who finished with 22, but East Hall kept its distance to finish off the game.

“I think it’s always good to be tested in a tournament early,” said East Hall coach Justin Wheeler. “Those teams that go into the first round and blow somebody out, they typically don’t win it. It’s always good to be tested.”

Mize hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter on her way to 11 points.

Ashlyn Ellison hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter, one in the second quarter and another in the fourth in route to 14 for the Lady Vikings.

Jenny Edwards hit a long-range jumper from beyond the arc in the second period as well and led the team with 16 points.

The only other player to score for East Hall was Carly Winters, who also had a 3-pointer, as she scored all seven of her points in the final period.

Caudell had 10 points in the fourth quarter alone and was 3 of 4 from the foul line for the Lady War Eagles.

Morgan Bryant put in 11 points from her position at the post. She was 3 of 5 from the line.

NORTH HALL GIRLS 67, LAKEVIEW ACADEMY 56: Nine different Lady Trojans scored as North Hall (7-3) advanced into the semifinals of the tournament.

North Hall will play Flowery Branch at 3 p.m. today at East Hall. Lakeview (6-5) will play West Hall at 10:30 a.m. today at East Hall.

Taylor Anne Kelley hit the first of her four 3-pointers in the game to start scoring in the contest.

The Lady Trojans won the tip, made one pass and Kelley dropped the shot from the corner with a defender in her face.

From there, North Hall kept the lead.

“Taylor Anne is a great shooter,” North Hall coach Kristi House. “She works at it. She’s lucky to have great teammates who get her the ball. I’m proud she had a good game.”

The Lady Lions’ best quarter came in the third as Hanna Grogan accounted for 12 of her game-high 28 points. She added eight in the fourth to total 20 in the second half alone.

The halftime deficit was just too much as the Lady Trojans led 46-18 at the break.

Kelley had 12 of her team-high 20 points in the first half.

Teammate Niki Carver had all 11 over her points by halftime.

Chloe Barrett also reached double-digits with 10 behind two 3-pointers.

Christen Copeland scored 11 for the Lady Lions.

GAINESVILLE GIRLS 56, JOHNSON 21: Shikiya Brown led all scorers with 17 points as top-seeded Gainesville won in the first round Monday.

The Lady Red Elephants put together an 18-0 run between the first and second quarters, allowing Gainesville to take a 29-7 halftime lead.

Gainesville, the reigning Lanierland champion, will next play at East Hall, who beat Chestatee Monday in the first round.

Breanna Fair chipped in 12 points for the Lady Red Elephants.

Johnson was led by Caroline Odum (seven points), while Hannah Hester had six points.

Friends to Follow social media