RABBITTOWN, Ga. — Joe Dix said it was definitely something he did not enjoy.
The East Hall boys coach went up against former Vikings player and assistant coach, friend, and now North Hall boys coach Jarvis Davenport for the first time Tuesday night in a key Region 8-4A North showdown at Valhalla.
The Vikings did come away with an 82-70 win, but the anguish on Dix's face was far more noticeable than any joy from the victory.
"I didn't enjoy that very much. And I don't think he did either," Dix said. "But we both have to get our teams ready for the rest of the season."
The early part of the game saw East Hall (5-1, 1-0 Region 8-4A North) run out to a quick 7-0 lead after four straight points from Chasen Jones. But the Trojans (2-4, 0-1 Region 8-4A North) rallied with 3-pointers from JT Chester, Rolan Imai, and Korbyn Sosebee and then got five points from Cole Hulsey to take a 22-15 lead to close out the first quarter.
The quick start and then early struggles for the young Vikings is something Dix said to expect while his group acclimates to the speed of the varsity game.
"That's the first time we've seen pressure this year, and at times, we did a good job of handling it and then not so good a job at other times," he said. "But we have a bunch of guys where this is only the sixth varsity game they've played. They're still learning on the job."
The second quarter was the difference as the Vikings exploded for a 12-0 run, sparked by a 3-pointer from Chris Alford, the first of four treys on the night for the senior guard. It eventually grew to a 33-point period and a 48-36 halftime lead.
East Hall led by as many as 18, at 59-41, in the third quarter. North Hall got as close as 62-54 late in the third but could not get into single digits.
"We can be explosive at times, and Chris triggered it again, which he's kind of done all year," Dix said.
Nothing came easy, as the two teams were called for 48 combined fouls, mostly on contested shots inside the paint. That led to 53 foul shots, 31 for the Vikings (16-of-31) and 22 for North Hall (10-of-22).
Jamarcus Harrison led East Hall with 27 points, including 9-of-13 from the line. Jones had 21, and Alford finished with 14 for the Vikings.
Hulsey and Matt Ray each poured in 13 points, and Andrew Bales had 12 for North Hall. Sosebee finished with 9 points for the Trojans.
NORTH HALL GIRLS 57,
EAST HALL 39
The Lady Trojans used an 11-0 run to close out the third quarter as part of a larger 18-0 second-half run to erase a 32-30 East Hall lead en route to the road victory.
A rough first half where North Hall (5-1, 2-0 Region 8-4A) took just 13 shots, were outrebounded, and had eight turnovers prompted coach Eric Herrick to make a defensive switch at halftime.
It definitely paid off.
Five players scored in the third quarter and held the Lady Vikings scoreless for more than six minutes in the second half while building a 48-32 lead off the big run. East Hall (1-5, 0-2 Region 8-4A) never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.
"We were in a zone, and it's hard to rebound -- that's one of the weaknesses -- so we went to a man defense in the third quarter," Herrick said. "We got a lot more pressure on their guards, forced some turnovers, and we got more opportunities on the offensive end."
Athena Vachtuevanos paced North Hall with 22 points, and Braelyn McCall added 12, with 10 coming in the second half. Martha Vachtuevanos had 8 points and Genesis Satterfield 7 for the Lady Trojans.
The Lady Vikings came out firing as Kaylana Curry drained a pair of 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds for a quick 6-0 lead. Twice, North Hall rallied to within a point before Curry hit her third trey of the period for a 16-11 lead.
The Lady Trojans went to work from there. Athena Vachtuevanos scored five straight points to give North Hall its first lead at 20-19, and later, Martha Vachtuevanos hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to pull the Trojans into a tie at 23 going into the half.
Curry led East Hall 14 points but was held to just three free throws and no field goals in the second half. Terriah Watkins had 8 points for the Lady Vikings.