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Hawks rally past Peachtree Ridge

HOSCHTON — In a game that was marred by a third-quarter scuffle, Mill Creek was able to come back and beat Peachtree Ridge 54-41 in basketball action Friday.

The Lions were without Amir Warnock for unspecified reasons, setting themselves up for a battle with the Hawks. And what a battle it was.

The game included three ejections for the scuffle and multiple moments where each thought they had the game won.

“Every time we play them, it seems like it comes down to one possession,” said Mill Creek head coach Chad Rogers. “That’s just the way it is when these two teams get together.”

Mill Creek was able to jump out to a big lead in the first half, using Scott Chadwick to open up the floor with 3-pointers. A Chadwick 3-pointer early in the second gave Mill Creek a 16-6. Minutes later, he added another and the Hawks had a 19-8 lead.

By the end of the first half, Mill Creek had all of the momentum. But Peachtree Ridge wasn’t going away quietly.

The Lions jumped out to an 11-2 run to start the third, powered by Aaron Augustin. Then, with the game tied at 28-28, a hard foul by Mill Creek became a scuffle that took the officials more than five minutes to sort out.

In the end, four technicals were assessed (three on Peachtree Ridge and one on Mill Creek). Two of the players receiving technicals for the Hawks were ejected, while one player from the Lions was ejected.

“Young guys just have to learn that you play between the whistles,” Rogers said. “There’s no place for that from anyone.”

Augustin sank the four ensuing free throws for the Lions to give them their first lead of the game, then hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to give Peachtree Ridge a 35-28 lead.

But like the Lions, the Hawks weren’t going away. By the end of the quarter, Mill Creek was within 40-35 and the game was on.

A 3-pointer by Mill Creek’s Keetone Glover put the Hawks up 51-50, followed by two free throws from Miles Riley to put Mill Creek up by three.

Mill Creek was able to stretch the lead to four, with the Brandon Hopson hitting a free throw to get the game back to within three. But the second shot was missed with Mill Creek grabbing the rebound. However, a travel was called, giving Peachtree Ridge one final shot to tie the game.

In the end, Hopson’s 3-pointer fell short at the buzzer and Mill Creek celebrated.

Augustin led all scorers with 23 points, while Hopson added eight for Peachtree Ridge.

Mill Creek was led by Chadwick and Glover, who each had 14 points, while Riley contributed 10.

“It’s a good region win for us,” Rogers said. “We got better defensively and did good things on both sides of the floor.”

Peachtree Ridge girls 45, Mill Creek 41

Peachtree Ridge moved to 3-0 in Region 7-AAAAAA as it used a late run to beat home-standing Mill Creek, 45-41.

“Our goal was to keep them in front of us,” said Peachtree Ridge head coach James Clanahan. “They take a lot of threes and we had no problem with that.”

The Lions got 16 points from Lorrie Cruse and had a firm grasp of the game, up 16-10 midway through the second quarter. However, Mill Creek closed the quarter on an 8-2 run to go into halftime tied at 18.

Mill Creek’s Kathleen Haxton hit a runner late in the third quarter to give the Hawks a 28-24 advantage, but a 3-pointer by Peachtree Ridge and a lay-up by Cruse gave the Lions the lead again, 29-28.

The teams traded baskets to close out the quarter as Mill Creek held a slight edge heading into the fourth, 32-31.

In the fourth, the teams started by trading buckets. A finger-roll by Cruse gave the Lions a 37-34 lead, but Mill Creek was able to score the next four points, including a 3-pointer by Madison Phillips to put the Hawks up 39-38. A layup by Tatum Ragsdale put the Hawks up by three points with 2:13 to go in the game, but that would be the last points they scored.

A 3-pointer by Kendra Purifoye, who finished with 13 points, followed by another 3-pointer from Cruse put the Lions up for good.

“Kendra was a huge spark plug for us,” Clanahan said. “She gave us an early spark and hit some big shots down the stretch.”

Phillips finished the game with 13 points, while Ragsdale and Haxton each had eight for Mill Creek.