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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Huge third quarter sends Gordon Lee past Trion

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CHICKAMAUGA - In a manner of speaking, there were practically two visiting teams playing at the Ware-Jewell Center on Tuesday night.

The first was the Trion Lady Bulldogs, who were making their annual trip north to Chickamauga. The second was the Gordon Lee Lady Trojans themselves, who because of scheduling, were playing their first game on their own home court since a Dec. 20 victory over Ringgold.

However it was the Navy-and-White who got their bearings first, and after a somewhat slow start, found their rhythm in the third quarter to deal Trion a 66-35 defeat in a Region 6-A North clash.

"We've played nine games straight on the road," said Gordon Lee head coach Lester Galyon, whose team's recent road slate included three games at the Battle of the States Tournament in Towns County, and six consecutive subregion games, including visits to top-ranked Southwest Atlanta Christian and No. 4-ranked Darlington. "It's just nice to be back in our own gym."

The Lady Bulldogs led 10-8 in the latter stages of the first half, but Gordon Lee (15-5, 6-2) ended the quarter on a 9-0 run. They would need another 9-0 run late in the second half to forge a 30-21 lead at intermission.

"I think we just weren't used to shooting on our own rims," Galyon explained. "We've been on the road so much, it just felt different being back at home again. We were getting good looks in the first half, they just weren't going in, but we told them at halftime to just keep shooting and eventually they'd start to fall."

But any hopes Trion had of pulling the upset were squashed after a more familiar-looking third quarter by the home team.

Forcing turnovers and poor shot selection by the Lady Bulldogs, Gordon Lee's depth and trademark pressure defense simply overpowered their guests in the third quarter. The Lady Trojans also heated up from the perimeter, connecting on five three-pointers as part of a 21-0 run. They would hold Trion to just three points in the period and open up a 54-24 lead.

"Our defense did a great job, especially in that third quarter, of really clamping down and putting the pressure on," Galyon said. "We rotated and trapped well, which is something we've been working on. It's always nice when you have those quarters when everything just seems to fall into place."

Thirteen different players got in the scoring column for the Lady Trojans, led by Kassidy Blevins' 14 points. Blevins also dished out seven assists and was recognized after the game in honor of her recent induction into Gordon Lee's 1,000-point club. Katelyn Lee had a dozen points and eight rebounds, while Katie Barger had nine points, five rebounds, and four assists in the win.

Crystal Lee had 13 points for Trion, while Hayley Jones finished with 10.

Gordon Lee will play their final regular season road game on Saturday when they travel to Coosa for a non-region matchup. They two teams met in Chickamauga on Dec. 4 with Gordon Lee cruising to an 85-35 victory.