NORCROSS -- If Wesleyan needed a stage to announce its return to Class AA girls basketball, certainly a showdown against the defending AA champion Lovett afforded the Wolves that opportunity.
And as the Wolves' girls are prone to do, the team that's won four straight state titles and eight in the last nine years across Classes A and AA dominated Lovett 64-30.
"We wanted to show that we are going to be just as good in AA as we were in A," Wesleyan senior and Auburn commit Katie Frerking said. "If there was any way to do that it was against the defending champions."
Frerking led the Wolves with 25 points -- five less than the entirety of the Lovett offense -- despite struggling from the outside and recovering from a recent bout of the flu. But the Wolves had the whole team involved. Eight different players scored, including 14 from Nikki McDonald and seven from guard Brittany Stevens.
In the first quarter, the game stayed tight with the two teams tying five separate times and Lovett overcoming seven turnovers forced by the Wesleyan defense. With less than a minute to play in the quarter, the game stood tied at 11-11, but Wesleyan scored the final four points of the quarter and never trailed again.
Wesleyan opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run, sparked by a McDonald 3-pointer as the Wolves built a 30-18 halftime lead.
Then came the decisive quarter.
The Wolves outscored Lovett 18-3 in the first four minutes of the quarter. Frerking scored 11 of her 25 points and the pressure defense forced nine Lovett turnovers.
"We talked about playing with passion and playing like you want to be here," Wesleyan head coach Jan Azar said. "We did that consistently in the third quarter."
Frerking's offense came off the Wolves' press, with McDonald and Keevana Edwards flying through the air and intercepting many of Lovett's pass attempts. Some blood on her jersey was the only thing to slow McDonald in the second half.
For Lovett, only four players scored and the Wolves limited Sydney Umeri, a Virginia commit, to just eight points, half of which came in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.
Wesleyan boys 57, Lovett 36
Wesleyan's boys took an early lead and then opened the game up with a dominating third quarter to beat Lovett 57-36.
The Wolves led by 10 at the half, 28-18, but outscored Lovett 17-6 in the third quarter, led by seven from Carter Hall, to put the game away.
Will Clifton was the only Wolves player in double figures, scoring a game-high 25. Hall finished the night with nine points and Jaye Rochell scored seven.
Andrew Wilson led Lovett with seven points.