Rabun County falls in state championship against Elbert

Taking on region rivals Elbert County in Macon on Thursday afternoon, the #1-ranked Lady Wildcats (24-5) dropped their third season meeting against the Blue Devils by a 52-44 final. Though Rabun County won the first 2 meetings, this was the one that mattered most.

The first quarter was slow-going offensively for both sides, as only 8 combined points came in the first 4-plus minutes. Elbert got on the board first, scoring on a turnover, but Rabun County went on a 7-2 run, highlighted by a runner from Lucy Hood and a 3-pointer by Sara Kate Roberson. Haban notched a runner to push the lead up to 9-6 in favor of Rabun. However, Elbert got back-to-back trays to take a 12-9 lead to end the first.

In the second, a Gracie Deetz putback off a free throw had Rabun up 13-12, but once again Elbert came back with a flurry of buckets and the 19-13 lead. Haban, who had 8 points in the first half, ended the run momentarily with a long jumper to pull the game to 19-15. Elbert County then continued to polish off a 13-4 run. It was Elbert in charge at 25-19 going into the locker room, as Rabun County’s 19% shooting (5-of-26) was lacking throughout the first 2 quarters.

It was more of the Blue Devils in the third to open up, as Elbert raced out to an 11-2 run to push up a 34-21 lead midway through the quarter. Haban finally pumped life into Rabun with a pair of free throws and a corner splash to get within 8 points at 34-26. Elbert immediately retaliated with a 3 of its own to push it back to 11.

Things got really chippy at 39-27 when there was a double-technical after Lucy Hood was fouled going up, as Elbert got called for one. Elbert’s coach also received a technical, thus coming with 3 technical fouls. Rabun made all 4 free throws, then got a long jumper by Deetz for a quick 6-0 run to pull it to 39-33 with brand new life. Deetz then scored on a save by Mary Lovell to complete an 8-0 run and make it just a 39-35 ball game heading into the final stanza.

Elbert controlled the fourth, though Rabun County got within 5 points with a little over a minute to go. Despite Haban’s going off for 10 points in the second half, both she and Hood fouled out in the quarter as Elbert held on for the win.

Haban closed with 18 points, while Deetz had 10, Hood and Sophie Woodard 6 apiece, and Roberson 3.

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