FORT VALLEY -- Peach County’s defense disappeared when the Trojans needed it most, and East Hall pulled off a 71-53 win over the Trojans on Friday night in the second round of the GHSA Class AAA playoffs.
“I’m just blank,” Peach County head coach Maxine Cherry said. “I thought we could’ve beat them. It was more mental and staying focused. That’s what we lacked.”
The Trojans’ defensive problems started early against the outside shooting of the Vikings. East Hall made 6-of-8 3-point attempts in the opening quarter to build a 20-15 lead. The Vikings ended up making 10 in the contest.
Cherry said the Trojans had planned extensively for East Hall’s ability to shoot the outside shot, but Vikings shooters still found themselves open on the perimeter.
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“We had seen it, we knew it, and we told them,” Cherry said. “You could count on one hand how many times they worked it inside, and we told them that. Every time, we’d crash in, and there’s no explanation. That’s not thinking and staying focused.”
East Hall extended the lead to 10 in the second quarter, but Peach County was able to cut its deficit to just five at the break.
Nausia Woolfolk put the Trojans on her back in the third quarter as she tried to lead the comeback, scoring 14 of her game-high 33 points to cut the Vikings’ lead to two. But that was as close as Peach County got in the second half. East Hall immediately answered with a 7-0 run, keyed by a 3-pointer in transition from Kylah Mize.
Peach County trailed by six entering the fourth, and three quick points by Woolfolk had the Trojans back within one possession with just 27 seconds gone off of the clock, but East Hall extended the lead once again.
The Vikings spread the floor forcing Peach County to extend its defense and then used their athleticism to drive around defenders and score one easy basket after another to blow the game open down the stretch.
Peach County’s season ends at 23-4.