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High school basketball: Cherokee Bluff girls pull away from Gainesville in 57-45 win in Lanierland

After relinquishing a large first-half lead, Timber Gaither paced the Cherokee Bluff girls with aggressive play underneath to pull away for a 57-45  first-round win against Gainesville  on Friday in the Lanierland. 

Tied 33-33 late in the third quarter, Gaither made a basket and foul shot to start a 7-0 Cherokee Bluff run. Gaither would complete another 3-point play at the free throw line with 2:40 left to play, making the Lady Bears’ lead 47-39. 

Cherokee Bluff (3-10) went up by 10 in the final minutes when Gaither made two free throws after her turnover and steal of the ball back. 

Madi Phillips had a game-high 23 points for the Lady Bears, while Gaither had 13 points. 

Gainesville battled back in the second quarter after going down by 9 points early. The Lady Red Elephants tied it late in the third quarter with Kyah Canty’s 3-pointer. 

With a basket from Lauren Teasley early in the third quarter, Gainesville (3-8) got to within one point.

Teasley had 12 points for Gainesville, while Sadie Roach finished with 10.

Up next, Cherokee Bluff plays in the Lanierland semifinals at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Johnson High.

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