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West Hall closes out Johnson
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West Hall's William Stroup attempts to block a shot by Johnson's EJ Wright during a game at West Hall Friday. - photo by SARA GUEVARA
OAKWOOD — All season long, West Hall boys basketball coach Warren Sellers hasn’t been pleased with how his team closes out games.

He was more than happy, however, with the way the Spartans finished off Johnson on Friday.

West Hall (12-9, 5-6) made 11 of its 12 field goals in the fourth quarter to beat Johnson 77-72 on Pink Night in Oakwood.

“Closing down the stretch has been our Achilles heel,” Sellers said. “That was two good teams going at it out there.”

Two good teams filled with several outstanding individual performances, including West Hall’s Shunquez Stephens, who missed just two of his 12 shots and scored a game-high 24 points.

“We didn’t know what we were going to get out of Shunquez,” Sellers said, referring to the fact that Stephens missed
Wednesday’s win because of an injured ankle. “It was going to take someone much bigger than me to stop him from playing tonight.”

Sellers was even more impressed with the performance of William Stroup, who scored all 16 of his points in the second half and didn’t miss a shot from the field.

“We felt good every time we got him the ball,” Sellers said.

That’s because the majority of the time he was wide open under the basket.

“We didn’t defend them,” Johnson (11-9, 6-3 Region 7B-AAA) coach Jeff Steele said. “We had breakdowns in our defensive execution.”

Those breakdowns, which led to 14 assists from West Hall including eight from Dre Pou, didn’t stop Johnson from staying in the game.

Thanks in large part to 10 made 3-pointers, the Knights found themselves down by just one point with 3:52 left to play.

But that’s when Stephens and fellow junior Jarquise Young took over and led West Hall on a 8-2 run that was too much for Johnson to overcome.

The Knights, who were tied for first in Region 7B-AAA coming into the game, were led by Tre Dudley’s 24 points.

Chris Henry, who made six 3-pointers, finished with 20 points and Grant Cagle finished with 14.

Young scored 21 points for West Hall, which also received 12 points from Dylan Bartlett.

For the game, West Hall shot 33 for 53 (62 percent), while Johnson shot 27 for 59 (45 percent). The majority of the Knights’ misses came from beyond the 3-point line where they made 28 percent of their attempts.

Both teams will be back on the court today, with Johnson traveling to Cumming to take on West Forsyth at 4:30 p.m. and West
Hall playing host to White County at 7:30 p.m.

WEST HALL GIRLS 49, JOHNSON 36: Bailey Soucie scored 24 points and made four 3-pointers in the first half to lead the Lady Spartans to a win Friday in Oakwood.

Amber Johnson added 15 points for West Hall (4-17, 2-9 Region 7B-AAA).

Caitlin Sloan led the way for the Lady Knights (2-18, 0-11) with 10 points.
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