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High school basketball: Grace Hollifield's big game leads North Hall girls past Cherokee Bluff in Lanierland semifinal
North Hall's Maci Gillespie drives to the basket during a Lanierland semifinal game against Cherokee Bluff on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019 at Johnson High School. - photo by Nathan Berg

For the second year in a row, the North Hall girls basketball team will play in a Lanierland championship game.

The Lady Trojans took advantage of big runs at the ends of the third and fourth quarters to gradually bury Cherokee Bluff in Saturday's semifinal game at Johnson High School and take a 58-32 victory.

Grace Hollifield lit up the scoreboard in the game, pouring in 28 points and hitting on six 3-point shots.

North Hall jumped all over Cherokee Bluff early in the first quarter, scoring the first 10 points off a quick flurry of takeaways before the Lady Bears could find any footing. Cherokee Bluff responded with a run of its own though, putting in 9 straight to nearly even the score. A late 3-pointer from North Hall's Lauren Swanson was the difference between the teams as the Lady Trojans took a 4-point advantage after eight minutes. 

North Hall gradually pushed that lead higher throughout the second quarter, thanks in large part to 7 points from Hollifield in the frame. A trey from Cherokee Bluff's Taylor Click kept the Lady Bears alive in the contest, but they still trailed by 25-18 at the halftime break.

The Lady Bears appeared to find some life early in the third frame, staying even with North Hall for a few minutes, but the Lady Trojans finished the period on a 14-2 run that gave them a 17-point lead going into the fourth. 

That streak carried over, as North Hall scored the first 9 points of the final quarter, boosted ahead by a pair of corner 3s from Hollifield that made the Lady Trojans' lead insurmountable.

North Hall now awaits the winner of Lakeview Academy and Flowery Branch in the title game at 6 p.m. on Monday at Cherokee Bluff High School.

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