Saturday November 28th, 2015 4:32AM

8-AAAA tournament: Cold-shooting Chestatee ousted by Stephens

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
OAKWOOD -- Chestatee picked a bad time for a cold shooting night.

The War Eagles shot less than 20 percent from 3-point range and Stephens County took advantage running away in the second half for a 78-56 win in the quarterfinals of the Region 8-AAAA tournament Tuesday night at the Johnson gym.

The loss knocked the fourth-seeded Chestatee out of a shot at the state tournament for the first time since 2008.

Chestatee had won 10-of-12 coming down the stretch, including an 87-81 win over Stephens County in their only regular season meeting. But the War Eagles could never get untracked against the Indians.

Stephens County opened the game with a 27-16 first quarter and never looked back. Chestatee rallied to close the gap to 38-31 with two minutes left in the second quarter but the Indians closed out the first half with a 10-5 run for a 48-36 lead.

The Indians blew the game open in the third quarter outscoring the War Eagles 15-4 in the period. Chestatee pull to within 67-51 after a series of 3-pointers by Justin Jones by that's as close as they could get.

Stephens County responded with six consecutive points to put the game away.

Chestatee was paced by 11 points from Keelan Passmore. Jones finished with nine points on three 3-pointers.

Stephens County was led by Cody Helgeland with 15 points. Fred Smith added 13 for the Indians.

The Indians next will take on the winner of the Johnson-Lumpkin County quarterfinal matchup on Thursday at Johnson.

In other action Tuesday at Johnson in the 8-AAAA tournament, third-seed Eastside held off Monroe Area while Madison County, which came in with just six wins, upset No. 2 seed Lanier 44-40 to advance to the state tournament.

In Thursday's semifinals, Eastside will take on Madison County at 5:30 p.m. and Stephens County will play the Johnson-Lumpkin County winner at 8:30 p.m.
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