Photo: David McGregor Lanier's Shelby Threlkeld (3) goes up for a layup past Winder-Barrow's Tiera Mayweather (10) during the first quarter of the game on Thursday at Lanier High School.
SUGAR HILL -- The Lanier Holiday Classic got off to a good start for the host school as both Lanier's boys and girls teams posted wins in the opening game on Thursday night.
The girls used a strong defensive effort to hold off Winder-Barrow 38-32, while the boys received offensive contributions from nine different players for a 69-46 win over Winder-Barrow.
Both teams advanced to the tournament semifinals, where the girls will play Central Gwinnett at 6 followed by the boys game at 7:30 against Mountain View.
In the girls game, Winder-Barrow (0-11) got off to a slow start by trailing 15-3 after the first period and 22-8 at the half.
Turnovers were a huge issue for the Bulldoggs in the first two periods, but they did a much better job of controlling those in the second half.
That opened the door for the Winder-Barrow offense, allowing the Bulldoggs to get as close as 38-32 in the closing seconds, only to see time run out.
"I think we lost focus and gambled too much," Lanier head coach David Palmer said. "We're young and don't know how to put somebody away when we get that chance. Our defense was agressive tonight and did a good job of forcing (Winder-Barrow) to work sideline to sideline."
Despite the late surge by the Bulldoggs, Lanier (4-7) was able to keep Winder-Barrow at arm's length, thanks in large to a gutsy performance from Shelby Threlkeld.
Threlkeld overcame a poor night shooting from the floor to lead the Longhorns with 17 points, while adding three steals and three assists. Tamar Osborne added eight points, while Taylor-Rose Gibson-Green led the team in rebounds with eight.
Adrianna Davis came off the bench to score 10, all in the second half, to lead Winder-Barrow. Davis also led the team in rebounds with 10.
The boys game featured a balanced scoring attack from the Lanier offense as the boys ran away for their fifth win the their last six games.
Jordan Harper led Lanier (7-5) with 14 points, while Jordan Davis scored 12 and Jordan Hodge added 11.
The Longhorns also did a nice job of passing the ball as the team recorded 19 assists, led by five from Harper and four from Peyton Smith.
"We talked about at halftime in that we have ten guys that can contribute, and not a lot of teams can say that," Lanier head coach Jeremy Huckaby said. "We kind of struggled early (in the season) on offense and our defense kind of carried us through, but we're starting to kind of hit a stride. We've just got to carry that momentum into tomorrow."
Winder-Barrow trailed by 11 at the break and couldn't put together a stretch on offense to get back in the game. Lanier helped make sure of that by putting the Bulldoggs away in the fourth period by outscoring Winder-Barrow 22-13.
Paul Webb, Trevon McSwain and Simon Shafack also helped in the win with eight points each. Zay Hestes scored 12 to lead Winder-Barrow, while Aaron Jeswald finished with 10 points.