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North Hall girls earn win in 79-66 double-OT thriller vs. Banks County
Leopards spurred to victory over North Hall behind Steeple, Wiley
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North Hall's Sam Jackson (4) guards Banks County's Zez Steeple (0) as he goes up for a layup Wednesday at North Hall High School. - photo by Erin O. Smith

It took two overtimes and an injury to a starting player, but North Hall’s girls basketball team outlasted Banks County 79-66 Wednesday night.

The Lady Trojans (14-8, 4-1 8-AAAA) posted 13 points in the second overtime after Chloe Barrett tied the game at 66-all to head into the second extra period.

Barrett pulled down a rebound and bounced the shot off the backboard with just over five seconds remaining in that first overtime.

Banks County (11-10, 3-5 7-AAA) threw the ball in and a North Hall player knocked the ball out of bounds with 3.6 seconds remaining in the first overtime. A short shot from half court signaled the other extra time.

In the two overtimes, Barrett totaled nine of her 16 total points. She also finished the game with 10 rebounds for a double-double.

North Hall led by nine points as late as five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Banks County brought it back to a two-point game with 1:17 left in regulation on a pair of free throws from Maddie Thomas.

The Lady Trojans missed a layup on the other end and then Gabby Kennedy tied the game up on two foul shots of her own for Banks County.

With 11.3 seconds left, Sadie Cleveland finished off a 12-point fourth quarter with the biggest 3-points of the game for North Hall.

The gym erupted, but the Lady Leopards remained calm and point guard Jaylyn Lack matched Cleveland’s 3-pointer to tie the game again at 66-66.

Cleveland scored 19 points in the second half, including the two overtimes. She totaled 27 on the night and finished with eight rebounds.

Sarah Hollifield had 11 points for North Hall on the night. Teammate Tatum McQuillan had 10 points.

“We had a lot of people really step up and the kids turned it up on the defensive end,” said North Hall coach Kristi House. “That was a fast game, lots of possessions, lots of scoring. We had a lot of kids step up tonight. That’s what we want to see at the end of the year.”

In the end, the Lady Leopards were the ones having to battle back to get into overtime, but the Lady Trojans battled back from the biggest deficit of the night.

North Hall’s first five possessions saw the team throw away the ball twice, shoot quick 3-pointers twice and then miss a breakaway layup.

In that time, Banks County jumped out to a 12-0 lead.

The Lady Trojans closed the first quarter on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit in half.

“That was a battle for sure, especially with the way we started out down 12,” House said. “We had to come back and go through a lot to win that one. Hopefully, we grew up a little bit.”

Despite picking up the win, North Hall took a hit just over a minute into the third quarter as Taylor Anne Kelley hit the floor and came up holding her wrist.

After being taken off the court, she emerged from the trainer’s room about 15 minutes later with her arm wrapped, in a sling and holding ice to it.

Following the game, she said her wrist is broken and it’ll take five weeks for her to get back.

“Not only is her arm broke, her heart is broken,” House said. “She wants to be here with the teammates. It’s definitely a blow to our team going into the home stretch of the region.”

Lack led the Lady Leopards with 17 points, all of which came after halftime.

Kennedy scored 11 points after the break to total her 15 points in the game.

Thomas had 11 points on the night.

Next up, the Lady Trojans will travel to Bogart to play North Oconee on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The Lady Leopards host Franklin County at 7 p.m. Friday. Then, Saturday, they’ll travel to Dawson County for a 5:30 p.m. start.

BANKS COUNTY BOYS 62, NORTH HALL 47: Kahmal Wiley and Zez Steeple jumpstarted the Leopards (19-2, 8-0 7-AAA) off to a big start, with the pair combining for 25 points in the first half.

Banks County led the Trojans (16-6, 4-1 8-AAAA) 32-26 at the break.

Harry Harper scored all 12 of his points on the night in the first half for North Hall.

Evan Easton delivered 15 points for the Trojans, while Carson Heinen finished with 14.

In the second half, Steeple was 10 for 10 from the free throw line, finishing 12 of 13 from the stripe, to total a game-high 25 points.

Wiley finished with 15 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks on the night.

Zac Orr had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Leopards.

“It was a hard-fought game,” North Hall coach Tyler Sanders said. “You have to give it to Banks County, they outplayed us tonight. They’re a good team.

“Collectively, as a group, we just weren’t very good tonight,” Sanders continued. “A lot of that just has to do with how well Banks County played. We didn’t shoot the ball well.”

North Hall will travel to play North Oconee Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. tip.

Banks County will host Franklin County Friday for Senior Night. They’ll tip at 8:30 p.m.

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