Allatoona holds off charge by Canes, 66-60
by Jason Greenberg
Dec 29, 2013 | 854 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The amount of quality opponents the Cartersville boys basketball team has on its schedule this season has increased as head coach Mike Tobin hopes to prepare his squad for the state tournament in February.

One of those quality opponents is Allatoona, who is currently 10-0 after defeating Cartersville by a score of 66-60 Saturday night at Allatoona High in the second round of the Lake City Classic.

“They’re a good team. That’s why we’re in this tournament,” Tobin said. “We played with a good team until the end. I was pleased with that.”

Cartersville did not score until nearly three minutes into the game. However, that is when Corey Tobin got hot and drained two 3s in three possessions. On Allatoona’s ensuing possession, Tobin picked up a steal and went the other way for a layup. He then found Hunter Benham underneath the basket for two more points the next play, and then hit another 3 the following possession to finish with 11 points and an assist in the quarter. As a result, the Canes led 13-7 after the first quarter.

The tide turned in the second, however, when Allatoona put together a strong eight minutes of offense. The Buccaneers went on a 6-0 run in the first minute of the period, but Cartersville managed to stay with them by getting to the free throw line. The Canes shot 13 in the period with Allatoona in the bonus.

The Bucs got to the charity stripe 10 times themselves in the second and managed to shoot 8-for-16 from the floor to outscore Cartersville 25-14 in the quarter. Allatoona also grabbed four offensive rebounds and held Cartersville to just 2-of-9 from the field. Some halfcourt pressure from Allatoona’s defense helped disrupt the Canes’ offense and give Allatoona a 32-27 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was played fairly evenly, but could have gotten out of hand if it were not for the efforts of Cartersville senior A.J. Mosby. Mosby scored on three drives to the rim and then hit a corner 3 in the first three minutes of the period.

Still, Allatoona would separate itself toward the end of the third as a 6-0 run gave the Bucs a nine-point advantage.

Cartersville managed to narrow the gap to six as Tobin hit a 3 toward the end of the quarter and Mosby made a sweet dish to Jalen McKeller for a basket.

Allatoona responded with a four-point play by Daniel Fowler. Fowler scored eight in the third quarter and carried his strong play into the fourth when he assisted on three consecutive baskets to open the final period.

Cartersville continued to battle despite an eight-point deficit with under four minutes remaining. McKeller scored two baskets on putbacks and Mosby forced a turnover and scored to bring Cartersville within four at 59-53 with 2:30 remaining in the game.

After another Cartersville defensive stop, Tobin nailed a corner 3 with two minutes left to bring the Canes within one point with a score of 59-58.

However, Fowler once again broke down the defense and found an open teammate for an easy bucket. He also made four free throws in the final two minutes of play to eventually give Allatoona the victory.

“I was happy with how we came back. We got done and we came back,” Tobin said. “We had a little adversity, but we were right there at the end.”

Fowler had 23 points in the game and four assists in the fourth quarter.

For Cartersville, Tobin had a game-high 24 points on five 3s. Mosby finished with 14 points, 11 in the third quarter. He also had five assists. Benham was the leading rebounder for Cartersville with nine.

The Bucs will go on to play North Cobb Christian in the Lake City Classic final at Allatoona high. The Canes, meanwhile, will play Carrollton, who is coached by Mike Tobin’s brother-in-law.

“That’ll be fun,” Tobin said. “But I was hoping to play them in the championship game.”