clear
Monday June 29th, 2015 11:30PM

Girls playoffs: Chestatee moves back into Sweet 16, as four area teams stay alive

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
Related Articles
GAINESVILLE -- The Chestatee girls basketball team wasn't interested in sulking after last week's region championship loss.

Just four days after watching the 8-AAAA title slip through their grasp, the Lady War Eagles rebounded in impressive fashion on Tuesday, pulling away from Columbus 48-37 in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs in Gainesville.

The Lady War Eagles were one of four area teams to move into the second round of the postseason, joining the Buford, Dawson County and Rabun County girls as winners on the night. (See below for a full list of scores for area teams in the postseason).

Chestatee dominated the first half, including a 15-0 run, and answered a third quarter charge from the Blue Devils to book a fourth trip to the second round of the postseason in five seasons.

"They've been here before; they knew they didn't play well against Madison County (in the region championship game), and they wanted to come out here and get past that," Lady War Eagles coach Web Daniel said. "They didn't want any regrets; they didn't want to leave anything on the table."

In fact, once removed from the emotion of last week's runner-up finish in 8-AAAA, Daniel saw that the No. 2 seed wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

"We knew we had a good match-up with Columbus," Daniel said. "They're a good team, but we saw some things could be advantageous for us."

Maegan Kenimer proved a big part of that advantage for Chestatee (23-5). The senior post helped key the Lady War Eagles' second quarter domination and then added eight points in the fourth quarter to seal a spot in the second round. Kenimer finished with a game-high 20 points.

Erin Clifford also provided some offensive spark for Chestatee, scoring 10 points, including three 3-pointers -- part of five treys on the night for the Lady War Eagles. The senior's final 3-pointer came right before halftime and capped a 15-0 Lady War Eagles' run that broke open a 13-13 tie.

"She told me before the game, 'coach, I've got at least three-four 3-pointers in me tonight,' " Daniel said of Clifford. "And those shots were big for us."

Yet the Blue Devils (20-10) made some big shots of their own in the third quarter, piecing togther a 12-0 spurt on baskets and free throws by Keke Gunter and Khayla Lloyd -- who led Columbus with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Yet even when Gunter sank one of two free throw attempts with 35 seconds left in the third quarter to pull within 30-26 the Lady War Eagles refused to panic and turned back to Kenimer.

The senior sank two free throws of her own at the end of the third and followed that with back-to-back lay-ups early in the fourth quarter to establish a 38-28 cushion with 5:55 left to play.

"We kind of played timid there in the third quarter; we didn't shoot the ball," said Daniel after watching his team score four points in the quarter. "We had a lead and we wanted to take good shots, but we weren't taking any shots. Then we got some rebounds, pushed the ball and got some lay-ups and that really helped us."

Chestatee went without a rebound for much of the third quarter, as Columbus nabbed seven and also forced seven turnovers to help force its way back into the contest. But the Lady War Eagles out-rebounded the Blue Devils 7-3 the rest of the way and did not yield a single turnover in the fourth quarter. Chestatee also proved solid at the free throw line, sinking 14 of 20 attempts for the game and missing just two in the fourth quarter.

"The girls are excited, and they feel like they've got a lot more basketball left in them," Daniel said.

Sam Brown also scored eight for Chestatee, while Katie Arthur added six points.

Chestatee will travel to face River Ridge (No. 1 seed) in Woodstock in the second round of state on Friday. The Lady War Eagles have already faced River Ridge once this season, falling to the Lady Knights 47-34 in the Allatoona Christmas Tournament.

TUESDAY'S GHSA FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF BASKETBALL SCORES

Class AAAAA
Allatoona girls 55, Flowery Branch 49

Class AAAA
Chestatee girls 48, Columbus 37
LaGrange girls 67, Stephens County 57

Class AAA
Buford girls 56, Woodward Academy 38
Dawson County girls 68, Blessed Trinity 54
St. Pius X girls 55, White County 30
St. Pius X boys 47, East Hall 45

Class AA
Rabun County girls 64, Manchester 34
Bremen girls 69, Union County 42
Kendrick girls 73, Jefferson 35


WEDNESDAY'S GHSA FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

Class AAAAA
Hiram boys (No. 4) at Gainesville (No. 1), 7 p.m. Wednesday

Class AAAA
Shaw boys (No. 4) at Johnson (No. 1), 7 p.m. Wednesday
Stephens County boys (No. 3) at Fayette County (No. 2), 6 p.m. Wednesday

Class AA
Kendrick boys (No. 4 seed) at Jefferson (No. 1 seed), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
Rabun County boys (No. 3) at Spencer (No. 2), 5 p.m. Wednesday

Class AAA
Cedar Grove boys (No. 4) at Buford (No. 1), 6 p.m. Wednesday
Decatur boys (No. 3) at North Hall (No. 2), 7 p.m. Wednesday
Dawson County boys (No. 4) at Woodward Academy (No. 1), 7 p.m. Wednesday
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Big Red Shootout: Buford foils Lady Elephants' upset bid in finale
Buford junior Camille Anderson knows to forget about the past during games.
11:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Boys basketball: Knights rebound with win over Centennial
The Johnson boys bounced back after a loss to Grayson on Friday with a 94-72 win Saturday night over Centennial in the Duluth Jingle Jam.
10:43PM ( 1 year ago )
Girls basketball: Dawson falls in Battle of States finals
Dawson County fell behind early and could not complete the comeback in a 70-65 loss to Hayesville, N.C. in the championship game of The Battle of the States Tournament Saturday night.
10:38PM ( 1 year ago )
High School Sports
Garner named new girls soccer coach at Gainesville
Former Gainesville High School athlete and coach, Shelly Garner, has been named new girls soccer coach at Gainesville.
11:44PM ( 13 minutes from now )
Ralston qualifies third straight US Junior Championship
Spencer Ralston is headed back to the United States Junior Golf Championship tournament...
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:07PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Budenholzer hopes Hardaway helps Hawks keep Millsap, Carroll
Now that he's added Tim Hardaway Jr., Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has narrowed his focus on re-signing All-Star forward Paul Millsap and starting guard DeMarre Carroll.
11:06PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Korver to have 3rd surgery since March, this time on elbow
Hawks guard Kyle Korver will undergo his third surgery since March when a specialist removes loose bodies from his right elbow on Tuesday.
10:48PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Georgia high court says bonds for Braves stadium are valid
The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the authorization of up to $397 million in bonds to build a new baseball stadium for the Braves in Cobb County.
By Associated Press
10:41AM ( 12 hours ago )