DAHLONEGA — Class 3A No. 1-ranked Lumpkin County quickly made sure there would be no upset Tuesday night to open Region 7-3A play against newcomer East Forsyth.
The Lady Indians opened the game with a 15-0 run and never looked back in taking a dominating 79-35 win at the Lynn Cottrell Gym.
Lumpkin County (5-1, 1-0 Region 7-3A) forced four early turnovers while running out to the big lead. After the Lady Broncos (5-2, 0-1 Region 7-3A) finally ended the drought with a Adeline Rosebush basket, Lumpkin County answered with a 10-0 run for a 25-2 advantage to take control.
Lumpkin County coach David Dowse said it was exactly what they were looking for, game-wise and long term.
“We always want a quick start to region play. After the first game you’re either in first place or last so it’s important to get a good start,” Dowse said. “Offensively we were really clicking early. We didn’t commit very many turnovers and defensively I thought we were better tonight than we have been.”
East Forsyth rallied to within 30-14 by the end of the first quarter but any thoughts of an upset ended in the second quarter. The Lumpkin County defense continued to create turnovers and held the Lady Broncos to just 3 points while extending its lead to 48-17 by halftime.
Averie Jones was the catalyst pouring in 21 of her game-high 34 points in the opening 16 minutes. Kate Jackson added 15 and Lexi Pierce and Mary Mullinax each had 12 points for the Lady Indians.
“We have a lot of girls you have to defend and they did a good job of moving the ball around,” Dowse said.
Lumpkin County hit 9 3-pointers in the first half, and had nearly as many fastbreak baskets created by East Forsyth turnovers.
The second half started much the same way with a East Forsyth turnover and a fastbreak layup by Jones that sparked a 9-0 Lady Indians run to open the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Lumpkin County led by as many as 50 on three occasions. The Lady Broncos closed out the game on a 6-0 run.
LUMPKIN COUNTY BOYS 50,
EAST FORSYTH 45
The Indians snapped a two-game losing streak and opened 7-3A with a come-from-behind win.
Lumpkin coach Michael Parker said it was most welcome.
“We needed that,” Parker said. “This is a very young team. We only have a few guys that had experience on the court coming into the season and we also played a really tough schedule. But I did that so that we would be ready for games like this. I’m just so proud of our guys right now.”
Lumpkin County (2-4, 1-0 Region 7-3A) trailed early, took a lead into halftime, but then had to rally in the fourth quarter. The Indians defense forced five huge East Forsyth turnovers and held the Broncos to just one Davey Hyams field goal in the final eight minutes.
“The guys really stepped up and made some plays. But I didn’t realize they only had two points (in the fourth quarter). Wow,” Parker said. “But I told the guys we have to protect our home court in region play and we did that.”
East Forsyth (3-4, 0-1 Region 7-3A) opened the game with a 4-0 run and led 13-4 midway through the first quarter on a 3-pointer from Hyams. But the Indians answered.
Cal Faulkner and Harper Davenport hit 3-pointers to pull Lumpkin within 14-11 and Jack Carroll capped a 15-4 run with another 3-pointer to give the Indians their first lead, 19-17, early in the second. A pair of free throws by Faulkner pushed Lumpkin’s lead to 25-20 but East Forsyth rallied to tie the game at 25.
A fastbreak basket by Carroll off a Broncos turnovers with just under 20 seconds left in the half gave the Indians a 27-25 halftime lead.
Lumpkin continued to push its lead in the third quarter, getting a 7-0 run, capped by a Jones Harris basket, to lead 39-30. But after a East Forsyth timeout, the Broncos answered with a 13-0 run to close out the period for a 43-39 lead.
The Indians opened the fourth quarter with a pair of baskets to tie the game early in the final period. With the score tied at 45, Faulkner converted a three-point play with 59 seconds left for the final lead and Harris hit two free throws with 1.7 seconds left to seal it.
Harris had 13 points, 9 in the second half, to lead Lumpkin County. Faulkner finished with 11 and Carroll and Preston Cox each had 7 points for the Indians.
East Forsyth was led by Hyams with 21 points. Matthew Rouse had 15 for the Broncos.