It’s always a big deal when North Hall and East Hall meet on the basketball court. It’s even more important when the boys and girls teams from both squads are ranked in the top 10.
In this particular early season showdown, it was North Hall that ended up getting the better end of the deal.
The No. 7-ranked North Hall boys opened the Region 7 schedule with a 72-69 overtime win over No. 5 East Hall. Remarkably, North Hall never led the game until overtime. In the girls contest, the No. 6 North Hall girls scored a relatively easy 58-49 victory over No. 3 East Hall.
Adam Kelly made 15 of 17 from the line and scored 33 points to lead North Hall. Ebo Smith also scored 20 points for the Trojans, now 4-1. Daniel McCreavy scored 18 points for East Hall, now 1-2. In the girls game, Sydney Cleveland scored nine of her 17 points in the third quarter and Taylor Phillips added 15 points for the unbeaten Trojans (4-0).
The two teams meet again on Jan. 22 at East Hall.
Both teams will compete in the 53rd annual Lanierland tournament, which starts Saturday at Gainesville. The first-round schedule is: Girls – Gainesville vs. Flowery Branch, 10 a.m.; Chestatee vs. West Hall, 1 p.m.; North Hall vs. Johnson, 4 p.m.; East Hall vs. Lakeview, 7 p.m.; Boys – North Hall vs. Lakeview, 11:30 a.m.; Flowery Branch vs. West Hall, 2:30 p.m.; East Hall vs. Johnson, 5:30; Gainesville vs. Chestatee, 8:30 p.m.
Savannah vs. Johnson, Round I
The first contest between rivals and state contenders Savannah and Johnson will take place on Saturday at Savannah at 7:30 p.m. Johnson is ranked No. 1 and Savannah is ranked No. 2 in the first preseason poll.
Last year Johnson won both regular-season meetings, but Savannah was victorious in the region championship game. Savannah went on to finish second in Class AAAAA.
Dawson County boys improve to 5-0
Dawson County, a surprise quarterfinalist last year, is off to a 5-0 start. Tyler Dominy and Will Anglin have been strong for the Tigers. Dawson plays Schley County on Friday and Chattahoochee County on Saturday in the Pacelli Holiday Showcase in Columbus.
The No. 1 Washington County girls are 3-1. Shon Kitchens scored 24 in a 63-27 win over Greene County, with Jasmine Knight nabbing 10 steals. . . . Tookie Brown had 16 points, including a pair of treys, as the No. 3 Morgan County boys beat Putnam County 44-41 to improve to 3-1. The Bulldogs meet Greater Atlanta Christ Saturday at 7 p.m. in the GAC Showcase. . . .