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West Hall boys win program's first Lanierland title
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West Hall’s Rodney Gibson puts ups a shot in a crowd during the first quarter of the Spartans’ Lanierland Tournament championship game with Johnson High Friday night at the Gainesville High gymnasium. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

Lanierland All-Tournament Team

C.W. Davis MVP - Shunquez Stephens

Curt Lance Memorial Sponsorship - Haughton Carswell

Brandon Smith

Kymmon Woods

Ishmael Hollis

George Manomano

Devaris Finch

Jim Orr

Ethan Satterfield

Tyler Ward

Gainesville girls win first title since 2005

GAINESVILLE — West Hall combined a 9-4 run to end the third and a 6-0 run to start the fourth to pull away from a tenacious Johnson team and win the program’s first ever Lanierland title, 72-58 Friday night at Gainesville High.

“This is a special win,” West Hall coach Warren Sellers said. “I feel we earned it because we had to beat three tough teams in Gainesville, North Hall and Johnson to get here.”

The undefeated Spartans (8-0) also had to fight off a lackluster first half in which their mistakes were plenty and the Knights’ play nearly perfect.

“We couldn’t pull away until the last minute,” Sellers said. “Johnson gave us all we wanted.”

Down three at the start of the second quarter, West Hall tied it at 17 with two Terrell Penland free throws and a jumper by Rodney Gibson.

The Spartans didn’t stop there with tournament MVP Shunquez Stephens scoring four straight at the end of the half to help his team go into the locker room with a four-point lead.

Gibson finished the game with 12 points and eight rebounds, Stephens finished with a team-high 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

That lead was extended with good free throw shooting by Marquise Stephens and Gibson, who each hit two to start the half, giving West Hall its biggest lead of the game at 31-23.

Johnson wouldn’t go away, however, going on a run of its own capped by a Chris Henry 3-pointer to pull within three and cause a West Hall timeout.

The Spartans did what any good team does out of a timeout, however, going on a 9-2 run sparked by five points from Stephens to take a seven-point lead.

Once again, Johnson came back with five straight from Brandon Finch, including a steal and layup, to pull back within one-point.

Finch finished with a game-high 19 points and eight rebounds. Devaris Finch added 10 for the Knights.
As though they knew they were destined to win their first championship, however, the Spartans took control again ending the third quarter and starting the fourth on a 15-4 run that would end up being the deciding factor in the game.

Penland and reserve big man Kyle Weatherly were the catalysts, scoring eight points combined during the run.

Weatherly and starting point guard Kavon Williams each had 13 for West Hall.

“We played good enough defense when we had to and executed better in the second half,” Sellers said.

“There have been a lot of great coaches not win the Lanierland title,” Sellers said. “I feel real fortunate, it’s a prestigious tournament.”

North Hall boys 50, Lakeview 49
Ethan Satterfield hit a 3-pointer with one minute left in the game to lift the Trojans to a win Friday at Gainesville High.

Satterfield finished as the game’s leading scorer with 17 points.

The Trojans overcame a 31-22 halftime deficit to pull out the win. They wouldn’t have been that close without the play of freshman Hamilton Harper, who came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers in the first half to become the team’s second leading scorer with nine points.

Lakeview was led by Haughton Carswell who had 15 points and Tyler Ward with 10.

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