OAKWOOD — Flowery Branch’s Lady Falcons are a young team trying to improve into a contender on the fly.
Wednesday at West Hall in a Lanierland Tournament consolation game, they took a big step by beating the host Lady Spartans 57-27 behind sophomore Tavia Sykes’ 21 points and nine rebounds.
It was the largest margin of victory for the Lady Falcons (3-7) this season, topping the 15-point win against Johnson in Tuesday’s Lanierland consolation game.
“I feel like we did good tonight,” said Sykes, who nearly matched her career high of 28 points set Dec. 4 against North Hall. “But we’ve done good other nights as well and I don’t want this to be our best game of the season.
“I want us to keep moving forward.”
Flowery Branch erupted for 21 points in the fourth quarter to put the game out of hand, and Sykes hit three of the team’s four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. She was also 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
“She has got to be someone that’s going to have to score for us to have success,” Lady Falcons coach Hazel Hall said. “She’s a good player and we’ve been convincing her to take more shots and she has.
“I was proud of her effort tonight.”
Hall said she was also proud of Flowery Branch’s overall effort, saying the Lady Falcons played with a lot of energy considering they were playing their third game in three days. They are 2-1 during that stretch.
West Hall (5-9) led 10-9 after the first quarter, but Flowery Branch went on a 15-5 run to take a 24-15 halftime lead. The Lady Falcons started to pull away in the third quarter, going on a 15-3 run to lead 39-18.
Sykes’ first 3-pointer of the fourth quarter gave Flowery Branch a 46-21 lead with 5:35 remaining in the game.
“We made some 3’s early and got some good looks, but then we couldn’t get the shots to drop,” Lady Spartans coach Lynn Jarrett said. “When the 3’s stopped falling, we decided we weren’t going to play defense anymore.
“But I give Flowery Branch credit, they shot the lights out. We’ve been playing good, scrappy, hard-nosed defense lately, but today we just didn’t get after it.”
West Hall was led by Brooke Reed’s 10 points. She was 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Cara Chilton had 10 points for the Lady Falcons, who as a team went 12-for-14 from the free throw line.
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY BOYS 71, CHESTATEE 70: Matt Askounis hit a free throw with 20 seconds remaining to help the Lions (4-6) cap a second-half rally after they trailed 34-23 heading into halftime.
The Lions were led by Austin Pearson’s 19 points.
Jackson Wells scored 18 and Nick Drury and Austin Montgomery each scored 11 points for Lakeview Academy.
The War Eagles (1-10) were led by Cole Morgan’s game-high 29 points and Keelan Passmore’s 19 points.
JEFFERSON GIRLS 55, JOHNSON 28: Jefferson opened the game on a 17-7 first-quarter run and never looked back, as all 12 Lady Dragons (6-6) scoring points en route to victory. Their scoring was so spread out that despite the big win, no Lady Dragon scored in double digits. Bailey Boyd led Jefferson with nine points.
Caitlin Sloan led the Lady Knights (5-5) with eight points, and Emily Byers had six rebounds and five steals.
WEST HALL BOYS 72, JOHNSON 56: Shunquez Stephens scored a game-high 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had five steals to lead the Spartans to a win in both teams’ final game in the Lanierland Tournament on Wednesday in Oakwood.
Jarquise Young added 19 points and four assists, while Dre Pou had 11 points for West Hall (9-3).
Matt Hollis scored a team-high 17 points and had three assists for Johnson. Ty Odem added 10 points and seven rebounds, while Montrell McKenzie had six points, nine rebounds and four blocks for the Knights (7-3).