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Wolves survive scrappy Spartans

NORCROSS - Anne Marie Armstrong is probably a little sore this

morning after the abuse she took Friday.

Greater Atlanta Christian constantly pounded the Wesleyan star in the post.

The bumps and bruises will be well worth it.

Armstrong scored 17 points and led No. 1 Wesleyan to a 59-48 victory No. 2 GAC at Yancey Gymnasium on the campus of Wesleyan.

"I'll probably a have few bruises tomorrow," Armstrong said. "They played me really hard. But once they did that, we were able to kick it out and hit some 3's."

The win gives Wesleyan sole possession of first place in Region 6-AA, while GAC drops to second.

"We'll take a win, but it was a little too physical for me," Wesleyan coach Jan Azar said. "I'm just glad Anne Marie came out of it alive and just hope the rest of the team is not beat up too much."

The Wesleyan (20-2, 13-0) win snaps a four-game losing streak to the Spartans (18-3, 12-1). GAC defeated the Wolves four times last year, including in the Class AA state championship.

"Coming into this game we wanted this bad," Armstrong said. "We've been thinking about this game since last year when they beat in the state championship."

The first meeting between the two schools this season was supposed to be Jan. 19 at GAC, but snowy weather postponed the game. The two teams will meet again next Saturday at GAC.

"This is a learning experience for us," GAC coach Chan Means said. "Hopefully, we'll learn from this and get another shot at them."

GAC only led once in the game when Mollie Mitchell scored on a put back to start the game. Then Armstrong scored Wesleyan's next six points and the Wolves never trailed again.

Chantel Kennedy found Grace Leah Baughn for a 3-pointer to put Wesleyan up 13-5 midway through the first quarter.

A Mitchell assist to Briana Jordan cut the lead in half with 36 seconds left to play, but Wesleyan still led 18-12 at the end of the quarter.

Jordan's assist to Chaney Means got the Spartans within striking distance as the Spartans trailed 18-16 early in the second period.

"Once we got up on them they got a little more physical and got back in the game," Azar said."

Erin Hall then hooked up with Aysia McKenzie twice for 3-pointers and the Wolves were ahead again 24-16.

The Spartans kept it close, but Wesleyan still led 33-25 at the half.

"The reason we won the game is we're so deep and we've got so many people that score," Armstrong said.

Wesleyan had eight people score led by Armstrong's 17 points. McKenzie added 11 points and Judean Hanks come off the bench to score 10.

The Wolves bumped their lead to as many as 14 in the third quarter and led by 12 going into the final period.

GAC cut it to seven with under five minutes to play in the game, but Hanks hit to free throws to bump it back to nine.

Wesleyan shot 7 of 13 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and 15 of 23 in the game.

"The game could have been over a lot sooner if we just made some free throws," Azar said.

Jordan was GAC's leading scorer with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Means finished with 12.