For the third consecutive season, the Lady Trojans (18-9) qualified for the state playoffs with a 45-37 victory against Pickens. With the win, North Hall advances to the tournament semifinals against East Hall at 4 p.m. Friday at Gainesville.
“This win feels so good for our team,” North Hall coach Debbie Blake said. “I was a little nervous with the revenge factor against Pickens.
“Their girls had that look in their eyes.”
Indeed the game with very physical. The fourth quarter was marked with numerous intentional, hard hitting fouls.
Blake says North Hall’s senior leadership helped pave the way to victory. Lady Trojans seniors Letiecia Davenport, Elizabeth Williams and Ana Porras all finished as double-digit scorers.
Davenport led the way with a team-high 15 points, eight rebounds and added three assists for North Hall. Williams had 14 points and six assists. Porras scored 10.
Leading 37-35 with 3:45 left to play, Williams helped preserve the Lady Trojans’ win with a steal on Pickens’ side of the floor.
Davenport followed with a pair of free throws, and Porras added a basket and foul shot to build a 45-35 lead with only 55 seconds left to play.
“I am so happy for our girls right now,” Blake added.
Pickens’ season is now complete.
Chestatee boys 63, West Hall 57
Parker Smith couldn’t have imagined not making it back to the state playoffs in his senior season. After averaging 34 points per game, he says it wouldn’t have been a fitting end for the season to end in the Region 7-AAA tournament.
He doesn’t have to worry about that now after beating Pickens on Monday and then defeating the Spartans on Wednesday night at West Forsyth.
Against the Spartans, Smith knocked down every shot in his sight in the second quarter with 14 points, and finished the game with 36 points for the War Eagles (21-6). He also hit all 12 free throws on the night.
“This is what we pushed for all season,” Smith said. “If we hadn’t made the playoffs all the hard work would have been for nothing.”
Smith now needs 20 more points to hit the 2,000 point milestone in his career.
Many of Smith’s points came by way of open jump shots. But other times he did his damage at the free throw line.
With 4:10 left before halftime, Smith blocked a shot and came down court and hit two free throws after drawing a foul.
Lamar Brooks and Branden Jovaag each scored 10 points for Chestatee.
“I’m just proud of our kids,” Chestatee coach Russ Triaga said. “They go out there and play as hard as they can.”
Derek Weatherly led West Hall with 14 points and Marquise Stephens added 10.
With the win, Chestatee advances to face East Hall in the tournament semifinals at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Gainesville. West Hall’s season is now complete.
Gilmer girls 49, Lumpkin Co. 45
Kylie Smith hit 8-of-12 fourth quarter free throws and finished the game with 22 points for the Class AAA No. 8-ranked Bobcats (21-5) in the Region 7-AAA tournament on Wednesday at West Forsyth en route to securing their first trip to the state playoffs since 1992.
Trailing 34-28, Smith keyed a 9-0 Gilmer run in the third quarter making four free throws and capped with a jump shot with 1:05 left in the period to tie the score at 34-34. Ashley Waters hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Bobcats to claim a 37-34 lead.
“We know Kylie has a big heart and is going to do what it takes to win,” Gilmer coach Herb Horton said.
“The most important thing is that this team is a family.”
Lacey Wallingford led Lumpkin County with a team-high 18 points.
Ashley Brown finished the game with 12 for the Lady Indians, and Cara Malone added 11.
The closest Lumpkin County managed to get in the fourth quarter was 45-43 after a lay-up from Wallingford with 1:55 left to play.
But Gilmer secured the win with a free throw from Smith with 1:55 left to play followed immediately by a steal from the Lady Bobcats’ leading scorer.
Gilmer visits Gainesville in the tournament semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday. Lumpkin County’s season is now complete.
Buford girls 38, Pace Academy 29
Behind Blanche Alverson’s 13 points the Buford Lady Wolves defeated Pace Academy on Wednesday during the Region 6-AA tournament at Greater Atlanta Christian.
The win sets up a rematch with Class AA top-ranked team, the Wesleyan Lady Wolves on Friday during the semifinals of the tournament.
Although No. 6-ranked Buford secured a spot in the state tournament with the win, they will have a tough time getting past Wesleyan, who beat Buford twice during the regular season.
The third game between the two teams is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at Pace Academy.
Dawson County boys 54, Morgan County 45
The Dawson County Tigers qualified for their second consecutive Class AA State tournament with a quarterfinal win against Morgan County on Wednesday during the Region 8-AA tournament.
Zach Cook scored 33 points to lead the Tigers, who have won 16 out of their last 18 games.
Dawson County (19-7, 9-2 Region 8B-AA) will play Washington-Wilkes at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals of the region tournament at Putnam County.
Jefferson boys 56, Athens Christian 37
The Jefferson Dragons continued their run toward their sixth consecutive region championship with a win against Athens Christian during the quarterfinals of the Region 8-A tournament on Wednesday at Prince Avenue Christian School.
Led by Ronnie Lewis, who scored 15 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, the Dragons (14-12, 7-2 Region 8N-A) opened a double-digit lead in the first half and never looked back.
Tab Minor scored 11 points in the win.
Athens Christian was led by Anthony Crosby’s 10 points.
Jefferson will next take on the No. 1 seed from the South subregion, Athens Academy, who have won 14 consecutive games. Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday at Towns County High.
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