The game on Saturday started slowly. The Lady Panthers took a 5-4 lead in the first quarter and led 12-11 at the half. A 10-9 third quarter by Southeast Bulloch tied the game at 21-21 with eight minutes to play. In the fourth, Chapel Hill’s offense got going and the Lady Panthers outscored their opponent 19-8 for the victory.
“It took a while for us to adjust to the officiating and to the flow of the game,” said CHHS coach Scott Long. “I believe the nerves got to us as well early on but we finally settled into a rhythm, and the girls did an awesome job.”
Erica Jones led the team offensively with 13 points. She also added seven rebounds. Kaneisha Mixon added 12 points and five steals.
“Kaneisha did a great job controlling the flow of the game and both her and Erica scored a lot of their points from the free throw line,” Long said. “
Earnicia Washington added 10 points and a game high nine rebounds, just missing out on her third consecutive double-double.
“She controlled the boards and found the open area,” Long said. “She did a great job picking her shots.”
Jazmine Lawrence added seven rebounds.
In Long’s tenure as head coach of Chapel Hill, his teams had never previously finished higher than third place in the region.
“This was a huge statement for the girls basketball program,” Long said. “The girls played hard.”
The Lady Panthers will host the first round of the state tourney on Tuesday. A time has yet to be finalized.
The Chapel Hill boys finished fourth in the region with a 53-51 loss in the third place game to Rockmart.
The Panthers did a good job of coming back from a 10 point deficit after the third quarter and tied the game with three minutes to play.
After a back and forth affair, and down by two, Chapel Hill got the ball with 5.8 seconds remaining. Chapel Hill got the ball into the hands of Armani Hayes and he put up a shot that according to coach Lee Wilson, looked like it was going in. The shot hit the front of the rim and rolled out, ending the game.
Chapel Hill drew the short straw figuratively with their state tourney placement and will have to travel to Savannah High School on Wednesday for their first round state tourney game.