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Moody, Copeland combine to push Lakeview girls past George Walton, earn 8-A title game berth
Lady Lions (21-6) will play Athens Christian in Saturday's region title game at Athens Academy
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Lakeview’s Christen Copeland (13) dribbles in for a basket while being guarded by George Walton’s Taryn Shelnutt (21) Friday during the Region 8-A semifinals at Athens Academy. - photo by ERIN O. SMITH | The Times

ATHENS - Lakeview Academy outscored George Walton 21-6 in the second quarter Friday night at Athens Academy to earn a 57-32 semifinal win and secure their spot in Saturday's Region 8-A title game.

Lakeview Academy (21-6) will next play Athens Christian in the title game, which will take place 6 p.m. Saturday at Athens Academy in Athens.

Junior Ryann Moody (15 points) knocked down three 3-pointers, including two in Lakeview’s big second quarter, while Christen Copeland (12 points) and Hanna Grogan (11 points) crashed the paint whenever possible to pull off a comfortable win.

“Ryann made a lot of great shots,” said Copeland, a junior. “I feed off the bench, and my teammates, and when they finish, I can come out and attack the basket. It picked us all up.”

Copeland said that winning the region tournament has been a goal for the Lady Lions ever since the beginning of the season.

Halee Cash added seven points for the Lady Lions.

Zalandria Hill led all scorers with 20 points, while Morgan Heyde knocked down six free throws for George Walton (13-12).

Lakeview came out flat in the first quarter and entered the second quarter down by three.

Then, the Lakeview defense stepped up to limit George Walton to just one field goal in the final eight minutes before halftime.

The Lady Lions held the Lady Bulldogs to just 15 points in the entire second half as Lakeview shot out to a 23-point advantage with 30.9 seconds left in the fourth.

“I thought our defense played exceptionally well,” said Lakeview coach John Carrick. “It was a heck of a team defensive game. You want them to go to bed happy and wake up hungry.”

Carrick’s team is listed No. 6 in the GHSA Class A girls basketball power rankings. The Lady Lions are riding a 9-game winning streak heading into tomorrow’s title game.

Lakeview fell to George Walton in last year’s region tournament final.

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