CLEVELAND — Aaliyah Anderson hit a floating basket as time expired to give the Class 3A fourth-ranked White County a thrilling 53-52 win over No. 7 Pickens on Tuesday at home in a huge Region 7-3A showdown.
The win kept White County (14-3, 4-0 Region 7-3A) perfect in region play and also maintained a half-game lead over No. 3-ranked Lumpkin County (14-3, 4-1 Region 7-3A). Pickens fell to 13-3 overall, 2-2 in region play and dropped into a tie for fourth in the standings with the loss.
Anderson’s shot came after Pickens had erased a slim 35-32 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. The Dragonettes were able to take the lead thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers in the final 8 minutes. Pickens hit 6 treys, three by Isabella Hopkins, to take the lead.
The Lady Warriors led 16-15 after the opening frame but Pickens tied the game at 22 by halftime.
Naomi Roberts led White County with 15 points. Claire Beckman had 9 points and Chandler Weaver and Kylie Watkins each chipped in 7 points for the Lady Warriors. Anderson finished with 4 points but all came in the second half.
Ellison Steinhauer paced Pickens with 15 points. Hopkins had 13, 9 in the fourth quarter, all on 3-pointers, and Caroline Mullins also had 13 points for the Dragonettes.
MILL CREEK 35
In a battle for first place in Region 8-7A, Class 7A No. 5 Buford used a tenacious defensive effort to roll to a Region 8-7A win on Tuesday at The Buford Arena.
Buford (14-0, 2-0 Region 8-7A) holds sole possession of first place following Collins Hill’s (7-7, 1-1 Region 8-7A) 65-54 loss to Central Gwinnett (14-2, 1-1 Region 8-7A).
The Lady Wolves held just a 16-14 lead over the Lady Hawks (7-5, 1-1 Region 8-7A) after the first quarter. From there, Buford shut the door on the Mill Creek offense.
Buford used a huge 25-7 second quarter, fueled by more than a half-dozen turnovers, to turn a close game into a 41-21 lead at the break. The Lady Wolves continued the pressure in the third quarter extending the lead to 59-36 heading into the fourth.
Ava Grace Watson and Taylor Romano once again provided a potent 1-2 punch for Buford. Romano finished with 24 points while Watson had 23. Alyssa Green added 8 points for the Lady Wolves.
Isabella Ragone had 17 points for Mill Creek. Kayla Harper had 8 for the Lady Hawks.
CHEROKEE BLUFF 46
Chestatee maintained its lead in Region 8-4A Subregion A with a big road win on Tuesday.
It was the fourth straight win for the Lady War Eagles (13-4, 5-0 Region 8-4A Sub A) who still hold a 1 1/2-game lead over North Hall, pending the Lady Trojans outcome against East Forsyth.
Cherokee Bluff (10-6, 3-2 Region 8-4A Sub A) fell two games back after their fifth straight loss.
The Lady War Eagles stormed out to a 19-4 lead after the first quarter and the Lady Bears never recovered. Chestatee took a 35-19 lead into halftime.
Riley Black had another huge game for Chestatee with 28 points. Caroline Bull added 13 and Addison Boyd had 9 for the Lady War Eagles.
Claire Carlson led the way for Bluff with 20 points. Mia Williams had 11 for the Lady Bears.
Chestatee next will play host to Johnson on Friday in a region battle. Bluff plays host to East Forsyth on Friday.
The Lady Red Elephants held the Lady Wildcats to 6 points or less in every quarter in taking a lopsided victory in Region 8-6A action at the Gainesville gym.
Gainesville (13-0, 2-0 Region 8-6A) rolled out to a quick 15-6 lead after the first quarter and held Apalachee (5-11, 0-3 Region 8-6A) to just 2 points in the second while building a 28-8 lead. The Lady Red Elephants used an 18-6 third quarter to put the game out of reach for a 46-14 lead.
Kedria Young paced nine Gainesville scorers with 13 points. Zaria Williams had 9 and Kelsey Lester and Caloni Young each had 7 for the Lady Red Elephants.
Averie Akin led Apalachee with 7 points.
BANKS COUNTY 49,
UNION COUNTY 23
The Lady Leopards won their ninth straight game and moved into first place in Region 8-2A with the blowout victory on the road.
Banks County (16-3, 2-0 Region 8-2A) did it with defense, holding the Lady Panthers (9-8, 0-2 Region 8-2A) to 9 points or less in all four quarters and to 5 or less in the first, third, and fourth quarters.
Meanwhile, the offense, behind 17 points from Kamryn Grier, jumped out to a 14-4 lead after the first quarter and took a 26-13 lead into halftime. They blew it open in the third with a 15-5 run.
Carley Segars had 7 points for Banks County. Reese Murphy and Addison Hoard added 6 points each for the Lady Leopards.
Corrine Hill led Union County with 11 points.
FLOWERY BRANCH 40
The Lady Falcons saw their two-game Region 8-5A win streak snapped at home on Tuesday.
First-place Loganville (9-6, 5-0 Region 8-5A) used a 28-8 run over the second and third quarters to erase an early 14-13 Branch lead. The Lady Falcons (10-7, 3-2 Region 8-5A) got closer with an 18-10 fourth quarter but couldn’t reclaim the lead.
With the loss Branch dropped into a three-way tie for second with Jefferson and Heritage-Conyers. All three now sit two games back of the Lady Red Devils.
Amyia Scott led Branch with 17 points. Bella Brick added 13, including reaching the 1,000-point plateau.
Loganville had 9 different players score, by CB Bolemon’s with 12 points. Emaya Lewis added 11 and Ariyana Smith 8 for the Lady Red Devils.
PINECREST ACADEMY 53,
LANIER CHRISTIAN 38
The Lady Lightning took a tough region loss on the road on Tuesday.
LCA fell to 9-7 overall, 2-1 in GAPPS play. with the loss.
Camille Hoffmann led all scorers with 14 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. Ellie Roberts had 13 points and Adelyn Gough added in 8 points for the Lady Lightning.
LCA next plays host to Fideles Christian in another region matchup on Friday.