Wesleyan 17 19 17 13 — 66
Calhoun 13 13 13 10 — 49
Wesleyan (66) — Katie Frerking 23, L. Frerking 8, Stevens 9, Booker 2, Duley 8, McDonald, Talley 4, Edwards 2, Mosley 7.
Calhoun (49) — Molly Palmer 10, Roe 2, Wright, Walraven 9, Taylor Palmer 13, Parker 4, Carly Curtis 11, McDaniel.
3-point goals: Wesleyan 3 (L. Frerking 2, K. Frerking); Calhoun 5 (Walreven 3, Curtis 2). Other highlights: Keevana Edwards 8 r; K. Frerking 7 s (W); M. Palmer 9 r, 6 b; T. Palmer 6 r; Sydney Parker 3 s (C). Records: Wesleyan 26-4; Calhoun 26-2.
CALHOUN, Ga. — For just a moment late in the first half of Tuesday night's GHSA Class AA quarterfinal girls' basketball game at Calhoun Middle School, the unthinkable started to appear possible.
Then again, it literally was only a moment.
Back-to-back 3-pointers had the crammed crowd in a frenzy as Calhoun High's Lady Yellow Jackets trailed mighty Wesleyan by just two. Two fateful minutes later, though, the halftime lead stood at 10. That would be as close as the home team would get as top-ranked Wesleyan pulled away in the second half for a 66-49 win.
Calhoun ended its best-ever season at 26-2, with Wesleyan improving to 26-4 and still in line for a sixth consecutive state championship.
"They can score so quickly and they play so fast," Calhoun coach Jerry Pruett said with a shake of his head. "You think you've got them, and they blow right by you and take it to the hole. We've not seen anybody pressure us like that, and it's hard to prepare for. You can't simulate it."
The relentless Wesleyan pressure led to 26 Calhoun turnovers, though the Lady Yellow Jackets did a good job of regrouping for most of the first half. Calhoun 6-foot sisters Taylor and Molly Palmer altered several layup attempts, with Molly Palmer getting five of her six blocked shots before intermission.
Wesleyan appeared to be pulling away midway through the second period when Katie Frerking scored seven consecutive points for a 27-19 lead, but 3-pointers from Bree Walraven and Carly Curtis quickly cut the margin to two. The gap was three with just over a minute to go in the half before Lauren Frerking scored the half's final seven points, the last four coming off Calhoun turnovers.
The Lady Wolves scored the third period's first four points to push the lead to 14.
"Through everything we hung in there, but we just couldn't catch them," Pruett said. "They got those two quick baskets starting the second half, and we never got closer than 12 the rest of the way."
Wesleyan coach Jan Azar, whose team won its first two playoff games by a combined 98 points, praised Calhoun's effort in defeat.
"I thought Calhoun played a great game," Azar said. "They never quit and they played hard the whole game. They're a very talented basketball team. When Calhoun made a couple of runs, our girls kept their composure. That comes from our senior leadership. We've got six seniors, so when they did make a run those girls stepped up."
Katie Frerking, one of those seniors, had 23 points and seven steals, with point guard Brittany Stevens adding nine points and eight assists. Taylor Palmer topped Calhoun with 13 points, with Curtis adding 11 and Molly Palmer 10 points and nine rebounds.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...