GAINESVILLE — Rylee McCall's go-ahead 3-pointer with seconds left in overtime helped lift North Hall past Dawson County, 55-51, in the first round of the Region 7-3A tournament at home on Thursday.
McCall (11 points) hit from beyond the arc with less than eight seconds to go, sending the Lady Trojans to the Class 3A state tournament for the eighth straight season. They'll play No. 1 seed Lumpkin County on Saturday in Dahlonega.
"I am so proud of this team and how they have responded to adversity all season," North Hall coach Kristi House said. "We preach being your best in February and our kids never wavered. I think they grew up a little bit tonight."
North Hall rallied from a 16-point deficit in the first half to grab its first lead of the game with 6:50 to go in the third quarter. McCall splashed a 3-pointer to extend the Lady Trojans' 8-0 run and give them a 36-35 advantage.
From there, the two region foes traded baskets with Madi Anglin charging ahead to give the Lady Tigers back the lead 37-36. Kristina Peach, who led North Hall with 17 points, and Braelyn McCall, however, answered with back-to-back baskets to up the Lady Trojans' lead 40-37.
Dawson County's Kirklyn Porter tied the game 40-40, then McCall answered again with a bucket with 5:25 to go and the lead, 42-40. Later in the quarter, Peach converted a 3-point play, extending the lead 45-42, but Anglin tied it 45-45 with 42 seconds left in regulation.
In overtime, the Lady Tigers led 51-48 with 47 seconds remaining. North Hall's Rylee Thompson (11 points) scored a basket and on the Lady Tigers' next possession, they turned it over, giving North Hall one last shot to win it. That's when McCall stepped up from 3-point land, giving the Lady Trojans a 53-51 lead. Dawson County turned it over again right after McCall's shot, allowing the Lady Trojans to score again and seal the win.
Madi Anglin led the Lady Tigers with a game-high 22 points.