A 20-second timeout did wonders for South Forsyth’s girls.
After dropping their previous two region games, the Lady War Eagles bounced back and held on to defeat Chattahoochee 55-49 on Friday at the Eagles’ Nest.
The Lady War Eagles led 44-36 to start the fourth quarter, but Chattahoochee held them scoreless for over six minutes and rallied to make the score 44-43 with 2:07 left. The Lady Cougars immediately called a timeout after trimming the lead to one, but South was the team that benefited.
"Our coaches got in our faces a little bit and I think that helped our mojo as a team," South forward Ashley Hannan said. "We just kind of stepped our game up. We knew we had to get it together and win the ballgame."
The Lady War Eagles (10-4, 3-3 Region 6B-AAAAAA) came out of the timeout and found Hannan in the post for their first points of the quarter to make the score 46-43 with 1:56 left in regulation. Chattahoochee (9-5, 2-4 Region 6A-AAAAAA) couldn’t find its grove on offense and failed to keep pace.
South was more aggressive on offense in the last two minutes and shot 12 free throws, going 8-of-12 to seal the victory.
Freshman Sarah Myers finished with a game-high 24 points that included five 3-pointers, while teammates Hannan (13) and Ally Welch (12) combined for 25. Chattahoochee’s Cassidy Starkes tallied 20 points and Erin Morrow scored 16.
"We felt like we had an advantage in the paint," South head coach Keith Gravitt said. "Our post players took advantage when we got them the ball.
"We got to do a better job of controlling the tempo when we’re in the lead. We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the basketball and getting into what we wanted to get into. We were letting them dictate how the game was played."
The Lady War Eagles led 16-14 at the end of the first quarter and held Chattahoochee to only five points in the second quarter, as they extended their lead to 32-19 at the half. South shot 61 percent (14-of-23) from the field, while Chattahoochee connected on 23 percent (6-of-26) of its shots.
The Lady Cougars trailed by 13 with 3:42 left in the third quarter, but managed to close the gap to 44-36 to start the fourth quarter.
"I think it was a team effort," Gravitt said. "... We try to preach to the girls that we need to win on the defensive end and we think we won more times than we didn’t, so this was a team win, not any one person."
South was scheduled to play at Grayson on Saturday before traveling to face Johns Creek on Tuesday.