Lady Rebels rally for win
Trailing by 17 points midway through the third quarter, it looked like the 2015-16 season was going to end with a whimper on senior night for the Fannin County girls basketball team against Banks County on Friday, Feb. 5, in Blue Ridge.
After scoring just four points in the second quarter, the Lady Rebels (6-18, 2-10), found themselves buried in a 26-15 hole at halftime.
That hole only deepened in the early going of the third quarter as the Banks County lead stretched to 17 points.
But the Lady Rebels defense sparked a rally, forcing the Lady Leopards into turnovers and missed shots.
The offense came alive too, scoring point after point until suddenly the game was tied at 42 with less than a minute to go.
The stifling Lady Rebels defense forced another Banks County turnover as time ticked away.
Sophomore Maddie Johnson picked up the loose ball and took off.
Johnson sprinted down the court and hit what would prove to be the game-winning shot as the Fannin County defense kept pressure on the Banks County shooters to preserve the come-from-behind victory, 44-42.
“This is such a big win for us,” Fannin County head coach Suzianne Pass said. “For it to come on senior night, it’s really special.
“It should also give us a big boost headed into the region tournament.”
Johnson finished the night with nine points, all coming in the second half.
Senior Lacey Walden started things early for the Lady Rebels, scoring a quick four points in the first quarter.
Walden added a pair of shots from beyond the arc, one in the second and one in the third, and finished with a team-high 11 points.
Walden said that earning a comeback win was all the more special because it was senior night.
“A lot of people didn’t think we could win, especially being down so much,” Walden said. “But we showed that we have the heart to win when we put our minds to it.”
McKenzie McClure combined with Walden for the early Fannin County scoring. McClure, a sophomore, scored seven of her total nine points in the first quarter.
After being held without a basket in the first half, sophomore Hope Franklin came alive to put nine points on the board, including five in the fourth quarter
where she, Johnson, and Catie Mosley provided the points for the Lady Rebels’ comeback.
Mosley, a junior, scored all four of her points in the fourth quarter.
The win helped secure the sixth seed for the Lady Rebels heading into the Region 7-AAA tournament.
Fannin County will take on the No. 3 seed West Hall at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, at East Hall in Gainesville.
East Hall is the second seed and host of the tournament.
For pictures and highlights of the Lady Rebels play in the region tournament, check out the Feb. 17 edition of The News Observer.
BC 12 14 08 08 - 42
FC 11 04 12 17 - 44
Fannin County scoring summary:
Points: Lacey Walden 11, McKenzie McClure 9, Hope Franklin 9, Maddie Johnson 9, Catie Mosley 4, Haylee Franklin 2.
Free throws: Reagan Henderson 0-2, Mosley 0-1, Walden 1-2, McClure 1-3, Hope Franklin 1-3, Maleah Stepp 0-1, Johnson 0-1.
FANNIN COUNTY 28
DAWSON COUNTY 65
Lacey Walden was the only player in double figures for the Lady Rebels on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in Dawsonville.
The senior scored 10 points, all in the first half, in the tough loss.
Walden hit a pair of baskets in the first period. Sophomore Hope Franklin scored two of her five points in the period and the Lady Rebels trailed, 14-6, at the end of the first period.
Dawson County (22-3, 10-2) found fortunes reversed in the second quarter, as the Lady Rebels held the Lady Tigers to nine points while scoring 14 of their own.
Walden hit a pair of 3-pointers, while sophomore McKenzie McClure and Franklin each hit a shot. Freshmen Maleah Stepp and Kyla Seabolt each found the scoreboard in the second quarter.
Fannin County cut into the lead and trailed, 23-20, at halftime.
The game got away from the Lady Rebels in the third quarter, as the home team put up 27 points in the period.
Junior Catie Mosley hit a basket in the period to account for all of the points scored by the Lady Rebels.
Stepp hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter and finished the night with five points, while Mosley went 2-of-2 from the free-throw line in the period to account for her final two points.
FC 06 14 02 06 - 28
DC 14 09 27 15 - 65
Fannin County scoring summary:
Points: Lacey Walden 10, Hope Franklin 5, Maleah Stepp 5, Catie Mosley 4, McKenzie McClure 2, Kyla Seabolt 2.
Free throws: Mosley 2-2, Franklin 1-2, Seabolt 0-1