This past Friday, the East Hall Lady Vikings traveled to Fannin County High School for the Lady Rebels senior night. The Vikings were looking to redeem themselves from their previous 67-65 loss to Fannin in double over time.
Lady Rebel seniors, Emily Beavers, Reagan Henderson, and Maleah Stepp, all went in to start off their last home game. Beavers was solid downlow where she played scrappy on defense and kept the Vikings from driving the lane. Henderson was an asset to the team as she contributed four points for the Rebels from the block. Stepp led Fannin in scoring for the night with ten points. The teams were neck and neck as the Rebels closed out the first quarter with a 9-5 lead.
The intensity was still alive at the start of the second quarter as the lead went from team to team. East Hall started to make it harder for Fannin to get to the basket as they put a full court press into action. Becca Ledford sped past the defense as she drove the lane and added six points to Fannin’s score. The Lady Vikings started making outside shots and tied the game 16-16 with a made three pointer. Morgan Holt was quick to respond as she made a layup and put the Rebels ahead 18-16. Holt hustled all night as she rushed back to block shots on defense and pulled up for jump shots on offense to contribute nine points to Fannin’s score. The Rebels began to foul the Vikings which resulted in made free throws, putting East Hall ahead 21-19 to go into halftime.
The Lady Vikings started to step up their game at the beginning of the third quarter. As East Hall put up more shots and advanced their score, they also began to foul. Rebel posts, Saidee Collins and Olivia Sisson, earned rebounds on the block where they also drew fouls. Both posts added one point to Fannin’s score from the free throw line while Sisson added a shot from the block to contribute three points to the Rebels score. Fannin started to fall behind as East Hall advanced their lead with a score of 32-22 to end the third quarter.
East Hall kept adding to their score as the Rebels got into foul trouble. Lady Rebels, Abby Ledford and Mackenzie Johnson, got after it and found themselves with four fouls in the fourth quarter. As time on the clock ran out, the Lady Rebel seniors were announced as they made their way off the court for the underclassmen to take their places. Despite Fannin’s fight, East Hall claimed a 52-33 victory.
When asking head coach Ryan Chastain about this year’s seniors, he stated, “This group of seniors have been really important in changing the culture of this basketball program. It is my first year here and I preached all summer about how important it was to have a family atmosphere. I told them from the beginning that we were going to be a family; whether they were in ninth grade to twelfth grade. I believe our seniors really exceeded in that challenge and took the underclassmen under their wings to make them feel part of the team. I think that is really outside of their contributions on the court; that’s the legacy that they are going to leave. They’re the first group to bring everybody in and make them feel included. We have actually heard a lot of people talking about their connections tonight and telling that story. In my mind, that is the biggest mark they have left on our program here.”
Fannin’s loss put their overall record at 6-17 and their region record at 3-7. Catch the Lady Rebels next game this upcoming Friday at 7pm as they travel to take on Greater Atlanta Christian.