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'Playing the right way' leads Grayson past Lowndes to GHSA title game

Grayson's Danielle Carnegie lays the ball up in the Rams 66-25 win over Lowndes

On Saturday, the Georgia High School Association basketball state championship tournaments continued and in the girl's Class 7A semifinals, the Grayson Rams took on the Lowndes Vikings with a trip to the championship game on the line. Both teams would struggle to get their offenses going early in the first quarter as the game remained scoreless until the 5:39 mark, when Lowndes' Kaci Demps would go 1-2 at the free throw line to give the Vikings the 1-0 lead. However, the Rams would go on a 13-3 run after getting a spark from Danielle Carnegie and close out the period with a 13-4 lead.

In the second quarter, the Vikings' shooting woes continued as they would be outscored in the period 16-6 by Grayson as the Rams led 29-10 at halftime and in the third quarter, Grayson would pick up the momentum, with their strongest quarter of the game, as they would extend their lead to 37 points by the end of the quarter as they led 56-19. The Rams dominance continued throughout the fourth quarter as they would go on to pick up the 66-25 win to advance to the 7A championship game and improve to 31-0 on the season as Carnegie would lead the Rams and all scorers with 23 points.

"You have a team like Lowndes, they're so well coached and you can tell that they play with great connectivety and great passion," Grayson head coach, Tim Slater, said after Saturday's win as he explained the Rams needing to get a feel for the Vikings, which may have contributed to them getting off to a somewhat slow start. "They do such a good job at being who they really are and playing the right way," Slater added, praising his players for their mindsets and efforts in preparing for each game. "They're doing such a good job of focusing on the things that get you to winning," Slater added. "It's a program win," Slater said.

Now, with about a week off from action, the Rams will turn their attention to the North Paulding Wolfpack, who defeated Cherokee 57-54, early on Saturday, in the other 7A semifinal game and Slater did not hesitate to acknowledge that the Rams will be in for a battle when they take on the Wolfpack. "It' going to be hard. It's going to be a challenge, they're going to be schemed up, they're going to be prepared, they're going to play hard, they've got really good players, so for us it's just focusing on the task at hand," Slater said, explaining that Rams will need to ensure they understand their opponent and "do what Grayson has to do to beat North Paulding and not the other way around," Slater added.


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