The Cartersville High boys basketball team narrowly missed out on beating Sandy Creek Friday night in the Region 5-AAAA semifinals.
As a result, the Canes lost a chance to host a state playoff game, but still had an opportunity Saturday to play for a 3-seed in the state tournament.
Cartersville was able to capitalize on that opportunity with a bounce-back win over Troup County at LaGrange High, using 24 points by Jaylon Pugh to take a 59-53 victory.
The win means Cartersville will avoid facing the No. 1 seed out of Region 7, and will instead face a yet-to-be-determined No. 2 seed. That game will take place on Feb. 18.
Saturday’s game was won at the free throw line. The Canes made 29-of-39 for the game, led by Pugh’s 15-of-16.
The third quarter was when Cartersville began to pull away, as the Canes outscored Troup 20-9 to take a 46-33 lead entering the
The usual suspects were at work in the third quarter, with Pugh hitting a 3 and T.J. Horton adding four points. The Canes also received some points inside, as JKobe Orr and JaCorey Johns each had three in the third.
The fourth quarter would come down to the free throw line, and fortunately for the Canes, Pugh was the one sent to the line most often. He hit all six of his foul shots in the fourth, while Cartersville went 11-for-15 as a team to hold on for the win.
Free throws accounted for nearly half of Cartersville’s points in the game, which was important because the Canes went cold to start the game. They scored just nine points in the first quarter, and Perignon Dyer made the only two field goals for Cartersville in the period.
After trailing 13-9 entering the second quarter, Cartersville found its rhythm and scored 19 points in the second to take a 26-24 halftime lead.
Besides Pugh’s 24, Trase Fezzia scored nine, Horton had eight and Dyer chipped in seven for the now 20-6 Canes.