Chapel Hill coasted through a pair of Region 5-AAAAA games at home against Villa Rica on Tuesday. The Lady Panthers got up by as much as 20 points in their game before winning, 49-31. The Panther boys led from start to finish, coming away with a 67-51 victory.
In the girls game, Chapel Hill jumped out to a 14-7 first quarter lead. They led 27-11 at the half. The Lady Panthers began playing their subs in the third quarter, with Villa Rica managing to win the 12 minute frame, 12-11. They subs played stronger in the fourth quarter, pulling out an 11-8 frame for the win.
“It was a good win,” said CHHS girls coach Scott Long. “We are still trying to find our rhythm and find our way, but we are heading in the right direction. It is a rebuilding year, and we have a lot of work to do, but it is promising to have the young talent that we have all the way around.”
Young talent is an understatement. Chapel Hill’s leading scorer in the game is only a freshman. Shekinah Howard scored 17 points and added 11 rebounds. This was her second double-double of the year.
“She had a pretty good night, especially on the outside,” Long said. “She hit a couple of three’s opened the defense up, and controlled Villa Rica on the glass and in transition sets. She is a work in progress but she understands what I am asking her to do. She is a versatile player, and you can do a lot of different things with someone like that.”
Sophomore Alexia Wallace followed Howard with 12 points. She added four steals and three assists. She shot 80-percent from the line.
“She did a great job being the floor general,” Long said. “She was in control and set the tone and pace of the game. She is maturing as well.”
The win evened Chapel Hill record up at 5-5. They are 5-1 in the region, and currently in second place behind undefeated Hiram.
“It is really good to get back to .500,” Long said. “We took our lumps, bumps and bruises early on against bigger teams. We could have won some of those games, but they were all tough. We did not want to play any non-region games that we knew we could win. It is not good for the kids. I want them to face someone that will push us.
“Losing and winning are a habit,” Long added. “And it feels good to win. Now we need to keep it going.”
In the boys game, Chapel Hill jumped out to a 16-10 first quarter lead. They led 27-20 at the half and 46-36 after three quarters. VR never threatened the Panther lead.
“I felt like this was the first game all year where we played all four quarters,” said CHHS boys coach Lee Wilson. “We did not lose any quarter. That is how you build a comfortable lead. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction. We have to put teams away when we have the opportunity and we did that tonight.”
Reece Anderson led the scoring with 13 points. He scored in a variety of ways, and was solid from the line, hitting 6-of-7 free throws. Free throws were key in the win. The Panthers hit 20-of-27 in the game.
Chris Stark followed Anderson with 12 points.
“He stepped up and had a nice game for us,” Lee said. “He was looking for his confidence and I thing he found it tonight. He is a new addition to the team. He is a senior but does not have a lot of experience playing with these guys and in our system. He is starting to take advantage of his opportunities.”
Jarrett Jenkins added nine points, all of which came in the fourth quarter.
“He is starting to heat up a bit,” Lee said. “He is a rhythm shooter and when he gets his rhythm and is now paying defense at the varsity level. He is working for rebounds, which is what we need him to do. We always knew what he could do on offense, but now we can leave him out there longer.”
The Panthers are now 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the region.