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Lanierland: Late shots propel Chestatee to girls finals
North Hall's Taylor Swoszowski drives with the ball against the Chestatee defense during the first half of Tuesday night's Lanierland Tournament semi-finals game at the Chestatee High gymnasium.

Chestatee coach Web Daniel feels like Tuesday’s win against North Hall is something that his team needed.

Playing in front of a packed gymnasium in the Lanierland semifinals, the Lady War Eagles (8-0) overcame a 40-39 deficit with 55 seconds left to play with clutch free throw shooting and a big free throw shot for a 44-41 victory.

Erin Clifford made the win possible for Chestatee with a 3-pointer (her only points of the game) with less than a minute remaining. The Lady War Eagles solidified the win with a pair of free throws from Melissa Bailey and Peyton Robertson after Clifford’s 3-pointer to come away with a victory.

“You need these kind of wins to be prepared for the playoffs,” Daniel said.
“Playing in a playoff atmosphere like this with a packed gym is something that is great about having a Lanierland tournament.”

With the win, Chestatee will play for the Lanierland championship against East Hall at 6 p.m. Thursday at West Hall.
Robertson led the War Eagles to the win with a team-high 20 points, including making 8 of 10 free throws.

“I didn’t know she had that many points,” Daniel said. “North Hall did a good job of shutting down the lane of her.”

The fourth quarter remained a back-and-forth affair for most of the time.

The Trojans took their first lead at 39-37 with a 3-pointer from Mary Kate Rushton with 1:51 left to play.

Rushton finished with 20 points and three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Taylor Swoszowski also had a key 3-pointer for North Hall early in the fourth quarter, followed by a pair of free throws by Rushton to counter a basket from the Lady War Eagles each time.

Rachel Kelly added seven points and eight rebounds for Chestatee.

McKenna Rushton scored seven points for North Hall.

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