East Hall hosted Franklin County in a doubleheader Tuesday night, but the games were more like a shooting clinic from the Vikings than athletic contests.
The Lady Vikings (14-4, 5-1 Region 7-AAA) defeated the Lady Lions 63-45 with the help of a combined 13 3-pointers.
“From start to finish, I thought we were pretty good,” said East Hall coach Justin Wheeler. “I thought we executed offensively and defensively. I love the way we played tonight and hopefully we can keep it up.”
The victory moved East Hall into second place by themselves in the region standings. Coming into the game, the Vikings were tied for second with Franklin County.
Leading the Lady Vikings from beyond the arc was Carly Winters (24 points), who knocked down seven long-range jumpers, three short of her personal best.
“She went off in the first half and continued in the second half,” Wheeler said. “She’s a heck of a shooter. We look for her on offense and she opened things up for us. We’re definitely excited about how she played.”
Jenny Edwards (11 points) and Macy Thomas (6 points) each contributed a pair of 3-pointers. Ashlyn Ellison (11 points) and Kylah Mize (7 points) each hit a 3-pointer as well.
East Hall took a 29-13 lead with eight treys in the first half.
The Lady Vikings outscored Franklin County in every quarter, except the fourth where both teams had 15 points.
It was the second quarter which put East Hall so far ahead at the break. The Lady Vikings posted 17 points in the period, while the Lady Lions connected on just two baskets for 4 points.
East Hall was 8 of 10 from the foul line.
“We’ve gotten a lot better at free throws over the past few years,” Wheeler said. “On any given night, you might shoot bad on free throws, even a good shooting team. It’s just one of those things where we’re fortunate tonight was a good night.”
“That just shows the balance,” Wheeler said. “We don’t know who (is going to lead us in scoring). Tonight, we still had two in double-digits and Carly ended up being our high scorer. We don’t look for one player. We play a system that is very balanced and whoever ends up with the scoring opportunity, that’s who we’re counting on.”
Kayla Russell led the Lady Lions with 16 points with Tiara Ellis contributing 13.
The Lady Vikings will travel to Dawson County Friday night. The two teams will tip off at 7 p.m.
Dawson County currently sits at No. 1 in the region after handing East Hall its only region loss.
EAST HALL BOYS 80, FRANKLIN COUNTY 53: In an attempt not to be outdone by the Lady Vikings, the Vikings boys (12-5, 5-1 Region 7-AAA) hit 12 baskets from behind the arc.
East Hall hit eight 3-pointers in the first half, with all of those coming in the first quarter. The long-range shots led to a 30-point first quarter.
“We wanted to get off to a good start. We did,” said East Hall coach Joe Dix. “We got going and had a good 30-point quarter. We held them off and were able to work on a few things.
“I borrowed a belt from my principal,” Dix continued. “He may not be getting that belt back after a quarter like that.”
Tylor Brown led the Vikings on the court with 16 points and four 3-pointers. Both Andy Lara (13 points) and Luke Holtzclaw (9 points) knocked down a trio of 3-pointers.
Markese Jackson (11 points) and Darrell White (9 points) both contributed a trey each.
The Vikings were coming off a tough loss to Gainesville on Saturday night and were able to bounce back against the Lions.
After getting out to a 46-23 lead at the break, Brown said it was difficult to keep focus in the second half.
“It’s kind of hard trying to maintain your focus because you get kind of complacent and comfortable where you are,” Brown said. “Coach told us not to come out flat and keep competing, so we tried to come out and compete no matter what the score was.”
East Hall will travel to face Dawson County at 8:30 p.m. Friday.