MORROW, Ga. – Trailing by 13 early, the No. 21 University of North Georgia women’s basketball team fought all the way back and hung on late for a 70-65 win over Clayton State Monday night at The Loch. The Nighthawks have won 11 straight games and are two wins away from clinching a spot in the Peach Belt Conference tournament.
The Lakers jumped out to 12-3 lead in the first four minutes and extended that lead to 20-7 before the Nighthawks started chipping away. UNG cut the lead to just one at the half for a 34-33 score after two quarters.
North Georgia took its first lead of the night with 6:06 to play in the third period, 37-36, but the Lakers stretched their lead back out to six through the third. The Nighthawks went on to outscore Clayton State, 25-14, in the final period to claim the road win.
Amber Skidgel came alive in the fourth quarter to lead the Nighthawks in scoring with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including three baskets from distance.
– Julie McKie scored 12 points, all of which came from the free throw line. For the Lakers, Abreylin Rackley led the way with 18 points, 12 of which came from behind the arc.
– Only three other times has North Georgia had a winning streak go 11 games or longer since the 2001-02 season, including two 15-game winning streaks.
– UNG went 30-of-36 from the free throw line in the game. The 30 made free throws ties the fifth-most made free throws in a single game in the NCAA era.
The Nighthawks will finish a three games in five days stretch with a home game against Columbus State on Wednesday. The game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. and will also serve as Faculty Appreciation Night.
Because of the cancellation, the next game for the Nighthawks will be on Saturday, January 20, against Georgia College as the fourth game in a row in Memorial Hall. Tip off for the women is set for 1:30 p.m., while the men’s game will start at approximately 3:30 p.m.
The White County Warriors had an impressive 2017 football season. Coming off an abismal 1-9 season in 2016, the Warriors came out swinging and scored some big wins early in 2017; defeating Franklin (33-0), Lumpkin (66-14) and Habersham Central (24-21) before dropping a tough loss to Rabun County (49-26).
The Warriors came back the following week and knocked down North Hall (28-18), who’s only other loss to a AAAA power came in the final seconds against Pickens County (42-35) where the Trojans marched down the field and came up just short as time expired.
In 2018, the Warriors will once again have an exciting schedule to kick off the season, and there’s no doubt they’ll be looking to duplicate and even improve upon their 7-4, 2-2 season from last year.
With games at Lumpkin County and then home against Habersham Central, the Warriors kick the season off much like they did in 2017. However, put a big red circle around the Sept 7 game at Pickens County, where PHS head coach Chris Parker is likely reloading rather than rebuilding this season. The game pits two quality AAAA programs against each other in non-region play, with White representing Region 7-AAAA and Pickens representing Region 6-AAAA. Both teams were eliminated early in post-season play last year, but both teams proved to be fearsome opponents on the gridiron regardless of home/away.
After the Pickens game, the Warriors schedule doesn’t let up.
The Warriors enjoyed a 10-pt victory over North Hall last season, but the Trojans played much better football as the season continued, and was the #TeamFYNSports Most Improved Team in Region 7-AAA last season. The Warriors will look to defeat the Trojans (9/14), before taking the drive over to Marist for their first game in region play. Marist, as the whole world is aware, is the defending region champion in Region 6. What’s interesting about Marist is although they won their region, defeating rival Blessed Trinity 25-24 early in the season. Two months later, the two teams met again in the State Championship and Blessed Trinity defeated the War Eagles 16-7. Undoubtedly, Marist will look to return to the final in 2018, but they will have to go through White County first.
Perhaps the best part of the Warriors’ schedule this year is the break between facing Marist (9/21) and Blessed Trinity (11/2), although the Warriors will need to defeat Flowery Branch, West Hall, Denmark and Chestatee during the interim.
How will the 2018 season fare for the Warriors of White County? It’s too early to tell. Rest assured the team will be preparing accordingly and TeamFYNSports looks forward to reporting on the 2018 season from the sidelines this fall.
Friday Jan 4, the Panthers faced off in a region matchup against the Lumpkin County Indians. The Lady Panthers tipped off at 7pm, the Lady Panthers got off to a hot start, taking a 12-3 lead as the first quarter came to a close.
The Lady Panthers continued to impress in the second quarter, led by sophomore center Kait Mccarter. Mccarter nearly had a double-double in the first half, with 10 points scored and eight boards collected before the end of the first two quarters of play.
After halftime, the Lady Panthers showed no signs of letting up. They went on a 10-3 run to end the third quarter with a score of 34-19 going into the fourth, a somewhat comfortable 15-pt lead.
The fourth quarter was a duplication of the previous three, demonstrated with an 11-2 run by the Lady Panthers, who at one point led by as many as 24.
The Lady Panthers top scorers were senior guard Bailey Daniel who had 19 (she is 7 points away from 1000!) and sophomore forward Kait Mccarter with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The Lady Panthers improve to 10-4 and 3-1 in 7-AAA. The next game will be Saturday, Jan 5, at Andrews (NC) at 5:30pm.
Friday Dec. 29, the panthers looked to finish off day 3 of the Battle of the States tournament. Both teams were 1-1 and were playing for 3rd place. Both were playing towns. The lady panthers dominated all assets of the game.
The lady Indians were missing star freshman forward Kennedi Henson and the lady panthers capitalized early and often as the panthers out rebounded the lady Indians 16-6 in the first half. The score was 13-8 at the end of Q1.
The lead grew of the course of Q2 at the half the score was 24-13 as sophomore guard Brooke Dockrey led the team with 8 points. At the end of Q3 38-22. Union ended the game with a final score of 52-33 at sophomore guard Brooke Dockrey had 16 and senior guard Bailey Daniel had 14.
Union out rebounded the lady Indians 28-12 as The lady panthers finished 3 and had one all tournament selection which was Bailey Daniel. The lady panthers are currently ranked 11th in AAA and host the #14 lady Vikings Jan. 2nd @ 6.
The 24th Annual Battle of the States Christmas Tournament kicked off in Hiawassee, Georgia on Wednesday, Dec 27. The tournament consists of eight boys and eight girls teams, who represent GA, NC, TN, and AL. There will be eight games a day for all three days of the tournament.
Here are the the first day results from the girls’ side of the bracket:
In the 10am game, Murphy NC beat Lumpkin County Girls by a score of 76-55. Post, Jessica Beckner led the Lady Bulldogs with 24 pts. Lumpkin was led in scoring by Makenzie Pulley, who had 19 pts.
In the 1pm game, Hokes Bluff, Alabama defeated Polk County, TN by a score of 32 – 23. Amanda Noah led Hokes Bluff with 21 pts. Nikki Ball led Polk County with 11 pts.
In the 4pm game, Union County defeated Darlington Academy in a close fought contest. Union pulled out a 54-52 victory as Darlington missed a game-tying field goal as time expired. Adeline Mockery paced the Lady Panthers with 22 pts. Caroline Dingler led Darlington with 21 pts.
In the 7pm tilt, the Towns County Lady Indians defeated rival, Hayesville, NC by a score of 52-42. Towns County kept the lead the whole first half, taking a 22-19 lead into intermission. The two teams were tied at 26 before Towns County’s press stretched the lead to 43-30 at the end of the third. Towns closed the game with a 10pt victory. Freshman, Kennedi Henson led Towns with 16. Junior, Taylor Cornett gave 9 pts, with a trifecta of long distance shots. Senior Madison McClure had 8 pts, hitting four crucial free throws in the game’s final minutes. Hayesville was led in scoring by Junior, Savanna Annis with 18 pts. Hailea Rickett finished with 17 pts.
Day Two of the Battle of States tournament will feature 4 girls and 4 boys games through the whole day of Thursday, December 28th. The tournament will conclude on Friday, December 29th with 8 more games to determine Battle of the States’ Champions, as well as 2nd through 5th place for Boys and Girls.
Day 2 Schedule (Thursday, Dec. 28)
10 am – Lumpkin County vs Darlington Academy (Girls)
11:30- Piedmont, AL vs Lumpkin County (Boys)
1:00 – Polk County, TN vs Hayesville, NC (Girls)
2:30 – Polk County, TN vs Hayesville, NC (Boys)
4:00 – Union County vs Murphy, NC (Girls)
5:30 – Union County vs Murphy, NC (Boys)
7:00 – Towns County vs Hokes Bluff, AL (Girls)
8:30 – Towns County vs Hokes Bluff, AL (Boys)
The Murphy Lady Bulldogs can play, folks. They opened the Battle of the States tournament at Towns County High School against a quality opponent, the Lumpkin County Lady Indians. Lumpkin (4-4, 1-1) was coming off a big 51-24 win at home against Mt Zion, after a tough 2-pt loss at Gilmer. Lumpkin’s biggest win of the season so far was against region rival Dawson County (46-39). The fact of the matter is – Lumpkin County is no push-over.
All that being said, Murphy’s varsity girls (6-1, 1-0) may carry the most talented roster TeamFYNSports has seen step onto a basketball court.
Nine different Lady Dawgs scored in the game, as Murphy head coach Ray Gutierrez worked to spread the playing time among his elite corps of hoopsters. Murphy senior Jessica Beckner was easily the TeamFYNSports player of the game, as she scored 24 points with 9 field goals and she went 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
Junior Ellie Martin, one of three Lady Dawgs to hit shots from beyond the perimeter, was the second-leading scorer with 12 points, two of her baskets coming from outside the arch.
Juniors Aubrey Clapsaddle and Bri Moore each scored 8 points in the game, followed by sophomore Sydni Addison and senior Hailey Thompson with 7 points each. Freshman Kaiya Pickens scored 6 points in the game. Senior Brittin Johnson and freshman Sarah Pulliam each scored 2 points for Murphy, respectively.
The first quarter was all Murphy – scoring 21 points and holding Lumpkin to only two points of offense, both points coming by way of free throws made by Raven Chester of the Lady Indians. With a 21-2 first quarter, most expected this game to be over before it even began.
However, the Lady Indians’ offense came alive in the 2nd quarter, ignited behind the effort by Karlee Armstrong, who hit two 3’s and a field goal to put up 8 of Lumpkin’s 18 points. Makenzie Caldwell hit a three-pointer and Clara White put up six points in the effort as Lumpkin fought to challenge Murphy’s dominant start.
Murphy’s offense was as consistent and accurate in the 2nd as it was in the 1st quarter, despite the offensive push-back by Lumpkin County. The Lady Dawgs put up 21 points (again) and led 42-20 going into the locker room at halftime.
Throughout the second half, both teams saw surges in which Murphy would increase their lead, followed by Lumpkin patiently chopping away at it. Ultimately, the margin would prove too great for the Lady Indians to overcome.
Murphy won the game by a final score of 76-55, advancing to face Union County in the second round, Thursday afternoon. Lumpkin’s varsity girls moved to the other side of the bracket, facing Darlington (GA) Thursday morning.
12/2/2017 | Women’s Basketball | Box Score
DAHLONEGA – Behind Mackenzie Darrah’s and Deana Blankinship’s big games, the University of North Georgia women’s basketball team opened Peach Belt Conference play with a resounding 82-54 win over Francis Marion Saturday afternoon in Memorial Hall.
Darrah netted 21 points, matching her career high set against Erskine last season, while Blankinship contributed 19 points, surpassing her career high of 18 points.
UNG never trailed in the contest, hitting the first basket of the game. The game was tied just once at 8-8, but UNG retook the lead moments later, extending it to as many as 32 points late.
– The Nighthawks shot over 57 percent from the field. Amber Skidgel and Julianne Sutton both finished in double figures, scoring 13 and 11, respectively.
– North Georgia assisted on 19 of its 32 made field goals.