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Sunday August 14th, 2022 9:29PM

Lanierland girls: GHS, East Hall, Branch, North Hall move into semifinals <b> (VIDEO) </b>

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
55th annual girls Lanierland Tournament

Saturday's first round action at West Hall High School

East Hall 60, Lakeview Academy 47
Flowery Branch 59, Chestatee 45
North Hall 67, West Hall 42
Gainesville 61, Johnson 24

Monday's schedule at Chestatee High School

Consolation round

Chestatee vs. West Hall, 9 a.m.
Lakeview Academy vs. Johnson, noon

Semifinal round

Flowery Branch vs. North Hall, 4 p.m.
East Hall vs. Gainesville, 7 p.m.
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OAKWOOD -- Second half runs were a theme Saturday in the opening round of the 55th annual girls Lanierland Tournament at West Hall High.<br /> <br /> Defending champion Gainesville, East Hall, Flowery Branch, and North Hall each took impressive victories fueled by second half spurts.<br /> <br /> Flowery Branch held off Chestatee, 59-45; East Hall shook off Lakeview Academy, 60-47; North Hall pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat West Hall, 67-42; and Gainesville shook off a slow start to whip Johnson 61-24 as all four advanced to the semifinals on Monday at Chestatee High.<br /> <br /> Flowery Branch and North Hall will meet in the first semifinal at 4 p.m. while Gainesville and arch-rival East Hall will meet in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. <br /> <br /> The Lady Falcons (9-1) used their height to stifle Chestatee inside and forced nearly two dozen turnovers in taking the victory.<br /> <br /> It was a tight contest throughout the entire first half with the teams trading the lead eight times, six times in the final three minutes of the second quarter.<br /> <br /> Flowery Branch led first on a Breanna Locke 3-pointer but the Lady War Eagles answered with a 5-0 run to take a 7-5 lead. A pair of Locke field goals reclaimed the lead for Flowery Branch, 13-9, but Chestatee used a 9-0 run, capped by a Tyler Bennett three-point play for an 18-13 lead early in the second quarter.<br /> <br /> The Lady Falcons would rally to take a 27-24 lead into halftime and then opened things up in the third quarter. Julianne Sutton capped a 13-3 run late in the third quarter on a pair of stick-back baskets for a 42-32 lead. They would lead by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter.<br /> <br /> Flowery Branch coach Hazel Hall said it took a while to get going but was pleased with the finish.<br /> <br /> "We really didn't play well early on but Chestatee played well at the same time," Hall said. "I think our height got to them as the game went on and then we started playing better on offense. It was a good finish for us. Julianne really played well."<br /> <br /> Sutton finished with a game-high 21 points to go with five blocks for Flowery Branch. Locke added 11 points and Maddie Hetzel eight for the Lady Falcons.<br /> <br /> Chestatee (7-6) was paced by Tyler Bennett's 20 points. Brooklyn Popham added nine points for the Lady War Eagles.<br /> <br /> <b>Gainesville 61<br /> Johnson 24</b><br /> <br /> Johnson started strong leading 6-4 after the first quarter and 12-6 midway through the second. But Gainesville exploded over the next 12 minutes outscoring the Lady Knights 36-5 en route to the win.<br /> <br /> Tanai Watson and Shikiya Brown sparked the big run for the Lady Red Elephants (6-5) combining for 10 points, three steals, and two assists to turn the 12-6 deficit into a 24-12 halftime lead in just under four minutes.<br /> <br /> Gainesville picked up where it left off to start the second half outscoring Johnson (3-7) 22-8 in the third quarter for a 46-20 lead. The Lady Elephants held Johnson to just four points in the fourth quarter.<br /> <br /> Gainesville coach Brenda Gilmore said playing with the pressure of defending champs was not a factor to their slow start.<br /> <br /> "Johnson played well early and we just weren't focused like you need to be," Gilmore said. "Tanai, Shikiya, Taylor (Hawks) they finally started playing late in the second quarter. I was pleased with our effort from that point forward.<br /> <br /> "But we will need to be more focused (on Monday) if we want to beat East Hall. It's just one game at a time."<br /> <br /> Brown finished with a game-high 17 points to lead Gainesville. Hawks added 15 points and Breana Fair 13 points for the Lady Red Elephants. <br /> <br /> Sarah Williams paced Johnson with 10 points.<br /> <br /> <b>East Hall 60,<br /> Lakeview Academy 47</b><br /> <br /> The Lady Vikings used a 17-11 second quarter to grab a 23-17 halftime lead and then turned up the defense in the second half to advance to the semifinals.<br /> <br /> The game was tied 6-6 after the first quarter but East Hall took the lead with the second quarter run and never trailed again. The Lady Vikings forced six third quarter turnovers to spark two big runs. <br /> <br /> East Hall opened the third quarter with a 9-3 run and added a 7-0 spurt later in the quarter to pull away for a 39-23 lead. The Lady Vikings (7-3) led by as many as 18 three times in the fourth quarter.<br /> <br /> Kylah Mize led the charge with 18 points for the Lady Vikings. Ashlyn Ellison and Jatasia Bailey each chipped in with 13 points apiece. Jenny Edwards had 11 points for East Hall.<br /> <br /> Hanna Grogan finished with a game-high 24 points to lead Lakeview Academy (6-4). Schyler Miller and Tori Taylor each had seven points for the Lady Lions.<br /> <br /> East Hall will play the winner of the Gainesville-Johnson game Monday at 7 p.m. in the semifinals at Chestatee High School. Lakeview will play the loser of the Gainesville-Johnson game at noon Saturday.<br /> <br /> <b>North Hall 67<br /> West Hall 42</b><br /> <br /> North Hall held West Hall to just 16 second half points in taking the win in the first round. The Lady Trojans (7-4) led from start to finish.<br /> <br /> It was a close game at halftime but North Hall used a 9-0 run to open the third quarter and never looked back. <br /> <br /> The Lady Trojans led 6-0 quickly after Taylor Anne Kelley and Kensi Gillespie hit consecutive 3-pointers. Anna McKendree cut the lead to 9-6 for West Hall on a 3-pointer of her own but that would be as close as the Lady Spartans (3-6) could get.<br /> <br /> North Hall closed out the first quarter with a 12-6 run but West hall chipped away again in the second quarter and would pull within 30-26 at halftime.<br /> <br /> The Lady Trojans took control with their run to start the second half and then blew the game open in the fourth quarter outscoring West Hall 20-9 over the final eight minutes.<br /> <br /> Kelley finished with 17 points to lead North Hall. Sadie Cleveland added 14 points and Gillespie had eight points for the Lady Trojans.<br /> <br /> McKendree finished with 12 points to lead West Hall. Meaghan Kelling and Macy Passmore each had eight points for the Lady Spartans.<br /> <br /> Chestatee and West Hall will meet in the consolation round at 9 a.m. Monday at Chestatee.
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