Last night, the McEachern girls got a win, 79-48, while the Pebblebrook boys won, 75-72, in front of a sold-out crowd.
The girls opened the night looking to build momentum in region play. Pebblebrook lost their first region game, and McEachern had yet to play a region game. With region play having just begun, a win would vault either team towards the top of the standings.
The game opened with Denim Deshields connecting from deep, and Jillian Hollinshead scoring down low for McEachern. Their explosive starts helped the Indians grab a 14-7 first quarter lead.
Pebblebrook’s Kania Seymour took over in the second quarter. She kept the Falcons in the game with her impressive ball handling and ability to finish at the rim. Ultimately, Jill Hollingshead was too much to overcome, and the Indians were able to maintain their lead going into the half.
In the second half of the game, McEachern pulled away. Caelan Ellis caught fire from three for the Indians, and McEachern cruised to a 31-point victory.
Kania Seymour was terrific for Pebblebrook. She led the game in scoring, as she finished with 23 points.
Jillian Hollingshead and Caelan Ellis led the way offensively for McEachern. They both scored 22 points, and Kiarah Cole-Massiah finished with 15.
The boys followed. As the teams warmed up, a big-game buzz emanated throughout the gym.
These are two of the country’s most elite teams. They both rank as top-5 teams in Georgia and top-50 teams nationally. The winner of this game would stand alone atop the region’s rankings. Needless to say, the magnitude behind this game was immense.
McEachern opened the game on a 7-0 run, but Pebblebrook’s Danny Stubbs started his unbelievable night by digging the Falcons out of their early hole. Combined with Stubbs’ 18-point outburst, Pebblebrook’s defensive pressure helped them overcome the Indians’ hot start. The quarter ended with the Falcons on top 24-23.
Pebblebrook’s depth and pressure continued to frustrate McEachern in the second quarter. The Indians uncharacteristically missed layups and open jumpers. Pebblebrook took advantage of McEachern’s cold shooting by stretching their lead to 13 points.
At the half, Pebblebrook held a 42-29 advantage over the Indians.
Unwilling to go out quietly, Chance Moore and McEachern started to heat up in the third quarter. Moore’s shots started to fall in the quarter, and Cam McDowell was drawing fouls at the rim. As quickly as the game had gotten away from them in the second quarter, McEachern had erased the majority of their deficit. Thanks to a steal and a buzzer-beating dunk by McDowell, the Indians fought to bring themselves within 2 points to end the third quarter.
The final quarter saw Pebblebrook make big plays when necessary. McEachern missed a couple open shots, and they turned the ball over at untimely points. When the Indians threatened to make another run, the Falcons had an answer. Thus, Pebblebrook was able to hang on to a 3-point victory.
Chance Moore, Cam McDowell, Braden Sparks and Robert Moore scored in double figures for McEachern. Chance Moore led the way with 21 points. McDowell, Sparks and Robert Moore added 19, 12, and 10 respectively.
Danny Stubbs can’t be lauded enough for his performance. He carried Pebblebrook on offense, as he finished with an impressive 39 points. 18 of those came in the first quarter. Tyler Shirley contributed 10 points, and Aaron Reddish threw in 9 of his own.
The Indians and Falcons are scheduled to play again on Tuesday, February 2. Certainly, it’ll be a night of note, especially with playoff implications on the line.
The McEachern girls are slated to take the court again on Monday against Holy Innocents Episcopal. The boys take on Woodward Academy on Saturday. Both teams resume region play on Friday when they host Campbell.
Pebblebrook continues region play on Tuesday when they go on the road to Campbell.