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Hull boys seek to defend county title

Hull Middle School's Frankie Shelnutt walked off the court on Tuesday with a pair of trophies in his hands.

The boys basketball coach was carrying the spoils of the Western Division regular season and tournament titles, the latter of which Hull won on Tuesday night.

Shelnutt is hoping to add another trophy to his collection tonight. Hull will play Moore Middle School in the Gwinnett County Middle School championship game at Grayson. In the girls game, Duluth will face McConnell.

"We've still got one more game to play and we're excited," Shelnutt said on Tuesday. "Our ultimate goal is Thursday night."

Hull (15-0) is the defending county champion and is riding a 31-game winning streak that dates back to last season, when it went 16-0.

The program, which feeds into Peachtree Ridge, reached the finals again with a convincing 59-26 win over Osborne. Jay Estime led the team with 19 points and Kristian Collins, who had a big second-half dunk, scored 12 points.

"I know they've got a great team," Moore coach Terry Morris said.

Moore, which feeds into Central Gwinnett, is in its second year of existence. The Black Knights were 2-10 last season and are 13-2 this season.

Moore had a 13-point lead in Tuesday's Eastern Division finals, but had to fight off a second-half rally to reach the finals.

"They didn't give up and stayed in the game," Morris said.

Nick Partlow led Moore with 22 points, while Abijah Walker added 18 and Jaylon Lawler had 10.

The McConnell girls (15-0) have mercy-ruled every opponent this season until Tuesday's Eastern Division win over Shiloh, which wasn't lopsided enough to warrant a running clock.

The Tigers, whose players feed into Archer, got 16 points from Autumn Newby and Linsey Marchese had 12 points.

"We've got one more game and we'll see how that goes," McConnell coach Chandler Deep said.

McConnell will face a Duluth (13-2) squad that went scoreless in the third quarter of the Western Division game, but played stout defense itself.

Endia Banks led the way with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Brianna Dixon had 10 points.

"They are amazing," Duluth's Amanda Rogers said of her team. "They work so hard and they play well together. They've been playing together for a long time. It's just a fun group to coach."

BASKETBALL

What: Gwinnett County Middle School Championships

When: Today

Where: Grayson High School

Schedule:

5:30 p.m. -- Girls final: McConnell vs. Duluth

7 p.m. -- Boys final: Hull vs. Moore