Until about four years ago or so, Ansley Hall lived with her family in Macon.
Wednesday evening, the Prince Avenue Christian ninth-grader sent a Macon team to the sidelines in the second round of the GHSA Class 1A private school girls playoffs.
Hall, now living in the Athens area, scored 28 points and added nine rebounds as the Wolverines pulled away in the second half for a 47-32 victory at FPD’s Middlebrooks Athletic Center.
Prince Avenue (21-7, No. 10 seed) dictated the pace of play in the second half, especially once FPD’s top scorer and one of its most physical defenders, Kate Patterson, picked up her fourth foul midway through the third quarter.
The Wolverines, who led by two at halftime, finished the third quarter up by six after the Vikings tied the game in the early moments of the third. FPD failed to get back on track in the fourth, and Prince Avenue, whose quarterfinal opponent is No. 2 seed Wesleyan, took command.
Bailey Ruble scored 12 points for FPD, the No. 7 seed. Patterson, who finished her high school basketball career as the Vikings’ No. 4 all-time scorer, was held to eight, half of her season average.
Three who mattered
Hall: Returning to Macon didn’t distract Hall, who made four 3-pointers in the first half. Fifteen of her points came in the second half, going 7-of-8 from the line after the break, and she scored all but two of the Wolverines’ 12 third-quarter points.
Madison Britt: Britt helped Pierce Avenue on both ends of the floor, coming up with eight points, four rebounds and four steals.
Patterson: The 6-foot-2 forward created matchup problems for Prince Avenue, keeping things going at a low-scoring pace as she shut down scoring options for the Wolverines. But her third foul, coming at the 5:30 mark of the third quarter, created a window of opportunity for Prince Avenue, and her fourth foul with 3:52 to go in the third sent her to the bench and opened the door to a Prince Avenue run.
Cold from the field: FPD struggled offensively in the second half. The Vikings shot 20 percent (4-of-20) from the field and 40 percent (4-of-10) from the free-throw line after the break.
Colder on the boards: Prince Avenue outrebounded FPD 20-10 in the second half.
Difficult road ahead: Wesleyan, last year’s Class 2A runner-up and a perennial GHSA Final Four participant, beat George Walton 73-26 on Wednesday. Prince Avenue travels to Wesleyan next week, likely Tuesday, for the quarterfinals.
They said it
Prince Avenue head coach Richard Ricketts on the Wolverines’ second-half play: “We gave up three offensive rebounds to start the second half on three possessions. I was a little agitated, and I almost called a timeout to chew them out, but then I was, like, ‘Just let them (play through it),’ and then by that time it was just lights out.”
Ricketts on the change in game flow following Patterson’s fourth foul: “Once she got that third foul, I told my point guard (Hall), ‘If we have a chance, we’re going at her, we’re going to make the official make a decision.’ (Patterson) is a player. It’s different when she’s not in there. Offensively and defensively, she’s a great player.”
Ricketts on Hall: “She’s not a freshman point guard anymore. She’s had a full year, and she does a good job of keeping us pretty steady.”
FPD head coach John Griffin on the Vikings’ second-half woes: “In the second half, we didn’t get into an offense, at all. I’ll take the blame for it. They would be in man, and we’d be in a zone offense. They would be in zone, and we would run a man offense. It became ‘I got it, I’ll shoot it.’ We didn’t move the ball around, wasn’t looking to get the ball inside. They just outplayed us.”
Griffin on Patterson: “She’s our leading scorer, she leads our team in offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, steals, assists, blocked shots. She leads in every category except attempted and made 3s.”