Meanwhile, the Lady Purple Hurricanes fell 46-32 to the Model Lady Blue Devils in girls high school basketball action.
Cartersville 89, Darlington 41
The Canes, who held Darlington to just 18 second half points, have now won their first eight games to open their season.
They will play the winner of the Rome-Model contest at 8:30 p.m. today at Berry College.
Head coach Mike Tobin said the Canes got off to a slow start against Darlington but that quickly changed once the second quarter got under way.
“We seemed to be sleepwalking to start the game, but we got more physical and played with more intensity,” Tobin said. “We started running and did a lot better pressuring the ball.”
Offensively the Canes benefited from a heaping helping of fast breaks that resulted from the increased pressure.
Cartersville, who held a 12-11 lead after a quarter of play, created separation from Darlington on the scoreboard in the second quarter by building a 42-23 lead.
Cartersville outscored Darlington 27-15 in the third quarter, enabling them to bolt to a 69-38 lead. Cartersville held Darlington to 3 points in the final quarter while dropping 20 points on the Tigers.
“That second quarter was huge,” Tobin said. “We just got started running and that got us going.”
He said Rome and Model are both good teams and he had no preference in opponents.
“We already played Rome and I saw them this week and they looked really good,” he said. “Model is good and we will be playing a good team, whichever it is.”
He agreed Cartersville is off to a good start on the season at 8-0.
“We definitely have talent on the team and these kids work hard,” he said.
Scoring for Cartersville were Devin Henderson, 9 points; Ryan Davis, 11; Corey Tobin, 17; Hakeem Winters, 6; T.L. Ford, 8; Christian Demastus, 2; A.J. Mosby, 15; Zack Hacker, 2; Hunter Benham, 6; and Dalven Penn, 7.
Tobin, who coached at Woodland the past 10 years, has been a regular when it came to picking up tournament hardware, his Wildcat teams having won the championship the two previous years and three of the past four.
Cartersville is seeking its first Gold Ball. A victory would give Tobin three consecutive tournament titles.
Model 46, Lady Canes 32
Cartersville’s shooters started out cold against one of the region’s hottest teams and couldn’t overcome that handicap as they lost, 46-32, to Model in the Rome News-Tribune Holiday Festival on Thursday.
Kaelyn Irby led the Lady Purple Hurricanes with 11 points.
Model led the Lady Canes 11-9 after a quarter of play, then stretched its lead to 26-15 at the game’s mid-way point. Cartersville was outscored 11-4 in the third quarter and trailed 37-19 at the start of the final period. Cartersville outscored the Lady Blue Devils 13-9 in the last quarter.
Coach Cindy Moore said the Lady Canes got behind early and then didn’t could close the gap with the game on the line.
“We had enough opportunities but couldn’t get our shots to fall,” Moore said. “Model is a good team with a very strong tradition of winning. We will benefit from playing them tonight but we’re disappointed we didn’t win.
“We played hard and did some things to create some shots, but we kind of dug a little hole when we got behind and it was hard for us to get out of it.”
Cartersville plays again today at 4 p.m. at Berry College for third place in the holiday tournament.
The Lady Canes are 4-3 overall and 2-1 in Region 5-AAA.