In the girls game, neither team could buy points early in the first period with the Lady Panthers taking a 3-1 lead and then holding a 6-2 lead for the majority of the time. The low scoring start was more a product of both teams just missing shots than it was the defense.
Chapel Hill had a chance to build a lead early but struggled in their many attempts at the free throw line.
However, late in the first, Lady Panther Ashley Chestnut caught fire, knocking down the period’s final six points for a 14-6 CHHS advantage.
The second period would be all Alexander, especially Molly Brown, as the Lady Cougars came back to tie the game at 22-22 heading into halftime. Brown scored 11 of her 12 first half points in the second period.
Alexander took their first lead of the game when Brown pulled the Lady Cougars to within one point and then Rachel Robinson dropped in a 3-pointer with 3:41 left before halftime.
After a time out, Chapel Hill recovered and took a 22-20 lead before AHS forced a Lady Panther out of bounds, took possession, and scored the final two points of the period with five seconds on the clock.
Chapel Hill came out with a vengeance in the third period, building a 35-26 lead by midway. Alexander fought back into the game late in the period, but could not get any closer than six points, which was thanks to a 3-pointer by Brooke Nail as the clock wound down. Chapel Hill moved into the final eight minutes of play up 41-35.
After a steal and score by the Lady Panthers to begin the fourth period, Nail again knocked down a trey to pul the Lady Cougars to within five points. A 3-point shot by Brown cut the deficit to two at 43-41. Brown then stole the ball and add two more points on a layup to tie the game at 43-43 with six minutes to play.
After a player swap, Chapel Hill’s Kaneisha Mixon managed to take the ball away from Brown and hit an uncontested layup to give the Lady Panthers the lead once again. However, Brown again tied the game on a 2-point shot from distance.
With 3:23 on the clock, Taylor Williams was fouled on a layup and made both free throws to give Chapel Hill a 47-45 advantage. After grabbing a rebound, Williams was fouled on another layup attempt, making both shots for a Lady Panther four point lead with 2:30 to play.
Chapel Hill maintained a three or four point lead until the final minute when AHS’s Brown hit two free throws to pull the Lady Cougars to within two points at 51-49. Brittany Edenfield made it a one point game by hitting one of her two free throws with 37 seconds on the clock.
With 11 seconds left, Alexander was forced to foul, sending Chestnut to the line. Chestnut connected on her second shot for a 52-50 Chapel Hill lead.
AHS had two shots at a layup as the clock wound down but could not hit either. A late foul with less than a second sent Lady Panther Alex Weems to the line. She made the first shot, but missed the second, leaving no time for AHS to get a final shot off.
Alexander’s Brown led all scorers with 28 points for a consolation prize. Edenfield followed on AHS with seven points and Treasure Matthews added five.
Chestnut led Chapel Hill with 13 points. Mixon added 11. Weems scored six points and Earnicia Washington netted five.
Alexander opened the boys game with a quick score on the tip-off in under two seconds. However, it would be the only score for the first two minutes of the game as both teams looked for momentum. As the first period wound down, AHS would take the advantage, building a 15-10 lead.
The second period would be all Cougars as they outscored Chapel Hill 20-7 for a 35-17 halftime lead. The story of the second period was ball handling and turnovers. AHS managed to limit their offensive mistakes, and when they did make them, the Panthers were unable to capitalize.
The Chapel Hill struggled to maintain the ball in its new high tempo offense. AHS’s defense added to the cause with its full court press.
Three AHS players, Jaquon Grier, Mikell Lands, and Eric Arnold led the team in scoring in the first half with six points each.
AHS continued to build its lead in the third period by driving in to the basket. By the end of the period, the Cougars led 53-33. Lands led the Alexander charge in the third period with seven points. Chapel Hill got two big 3-pointers from Logan Johnstone, but it could not keep AHS from pulling a little further away.
The clock was played out in the second half for a Cougar 39 point victory.
Alexander was led by Land’s 15 points. Hassani Gravett came on strong in the second half to finish with 12 points. Britton Walton added eight points.
Rico Flemister scored a team high 11 points for the Panthers. Johnstone added nine points and Jamarius Turner netted eight points.
Alexander will be back in action Friday when they travel to Douglas County. Girls will start the action at 6 p.m. Chapel Hill will host Newnan on Saturday. Games will start at 1 p.m.