Wesleyan girls take down Spartans again

NORCROSS - Wesleyan and Greater Atlanta Christian have each beat the other four times while alternating Class AA girls basketball titles the past two seasons.

How many times will they meet this year?

Four wouldn't be a bad number again.

"We beat them four times two years ago and they beat us four times last year," Wesleyan coach Jan Azar said. "Now it's our turn again."

No. 1-ranked Wesleyan completed an unbeaten regular season in Region 6-AA, downing No. 3 GAC 51-46 before an overflow crowd Saturday night at the Spartans' Bradford Gymnasium.

Wesleyan and GAC may meet again in the region tournament title game next Saturday at Pace Academy.

"Sure, we'd like to play GAC again," Wesleyan standout Anne Marie Armstrong said. "But we can't look that far ahead,"

As the top two teams in 6-AA South, Wesleyan and GAC each have a bye to the region quarterfinals on Tuesday at GAC. Wins there would automatically put them back in the state tournament.

Wesleyan jumped to a 7-0 lead against GAC and a 10-0 run in the second quarter gave the Wolves a 12-point lead. But GAC kept battling back and pulled within four points on Mollie Mitchell's basket with 29 seconds left.

That was as close as the Spartans could get, though. Asyia Kenndy made one of two foul shots with 11.6 seconds left and Wesleyan held on for its second win over GAC this season.

Wesleyan finished 16-0 in the region and 23-2 overall, while GAC was 14-2 and 20-4.

Armstrong led Wesleyan with 16 points and nine rebounds. Judean Hanks had 10 points, while Erin Hall and Kennedy each scored seven.

Wesleyan enjoyed a big edge on the boards against shorter GAC, out-rebounding the Spartans 36-23.

Briana Jordan led GAC with 11 points, seven of them coming in the fourth quarter. Chaney Means had 11 points, while Anjelica Wilcox added eight and Mitchell, who drew her fourth foul in the third quarter, scored seven.

Wesleyan went to the foul line 21 times and made 12. GAC was just 4-for-7 on free throws.

Azar would have preferred her team be stronger offensively, rather than counting on being fouled.

"We need to work on our offensive game against physical teams," the Wesleyan coach said. "We can't just count on foul shots."

"We need to get the ball into the post, then kick it back out if we need to," Armstrong said. "I know we'll be working on that."