Lady Canes 52, LFO 42
It may have seemed a foregone conclusion as the Cartersville girls basketball team was 11-0 in the region, but the Lady Canes can now take a breath knowing they have clinched the top seed in the Region 5-AAA tournament.
The clincher came Tuesday night at Cartersville High when the Lady Canes defeated Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe by a score of 52-42 on “Pink Out Night” for cancer awareness.
“We’ll take a good win at home. That clinched first place in the region, so that’s a great accomplishment from the battle all year. Every region game matters and to have that and know that you have a chance to play in the state tournament means a lot. I’m proud of our seniors. It was kind of a second senior night because we have seven seniors and you can’t start all of them. We have a great group of young ladies,” Cartersville head coach Cindy Moore said. “It was our Pink Out, so it was a big event. We certainly wanted to promote the cause. Everyone’s wearing pink. Obviously, it’s a big fight against a terrible disease.”
Cartersville established Maya Jones in the post early in the game. Jones had 12 of her team’s 17 first-quarter points, six came on the left block. As a result, the Lady Canes were able to take a seven-point advantage at the end of the first period.
“We came out in the first quarter and post play was huge,” Moore said. “We knew if we ran the floor and got it inside, good things would happen.”
Cartersville has given several teams trouble with its full-court press defense. However, LFO was able to handle the pressure with relatively few turnovers and hung around in the game because of its poise.
“I thought the first half, both teams executed very well,” Moore said. “I don’t think there was a tremendous amount of turnovers. They executed a good press offense and we executed on offense. It was a good clean ballgame.”
Cartersville was able to execute a little better and led by a score of 32-20 at halftime.
The second half was a different story, however, as neither team shot better than 33 percent from the floor and Cartersville had 10 turnovers.
“The second half..., we looked sloppy. We looked flat,” Moore said. “We didn’t do the things that we have to do from here on out to make a good run at the playoffs. We’ll look at what we need to do better.”
Still, the Lady Canes led by 15 entering the final period.
Cartersville’s Kaelyn Irby was one of the main reasons why her squad went into the fourth quarter with the lead as the senior accounted for the team’s final seven points of the third quarter, scoring five points to go along with an assist on a backdoor cut by Kimora McClinic.
LFO made a run toward the end of the fourth quarter, but Cartersville’s lead never dipped below double digits as the Lady Canes were able to cruise to a 12-0 region record.
Jones led the way with 18 points and nine rebounds. Irby added 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists to the cause.
Cartersville will next match up with Coahulla Creek on the road today at 6 p.m.
“We have no time to rest. We have to turn around and play Coahulla on the road against a team that’s in there battling for that fourth seed, which gets you a bye,” Moore said. “They’ve got a couple of players that, if we don’t do what we need to do, they’ll hurt us.”
Woodland took another step toward a high region seeding by defeating Rome on the road Tuesday, 54-49.
Head coach Kyle Morgan said the win was difficult and the team’s remaining two games will be just as hard played as the Lady Wildcats close out their season.
“It was a total team effort against Rome,” Morgan said. “Everyone played extremely well as a group and that enabled us to win.”
The Lady Wolves earned the early lead in their contest, outscoring Woodland 11-9 after a quarter of play. Rome added another bucket to their lead in the second frame with a 13-11 run and carried a 24-20 lead into halftime.
The Lady Wildcats turned up their offensive production in the third quarter, scoring 15 points, and allowed 10 by the home team to earn a 35-34 lead after three full frames.
Woodland (16-7 overall and 11-2 in its region) scored 19 points in the final quarter while holding Rome to 15 to seal its victory.
Scoring for the Lady Wildcats were Gabby Bradley, 12 points; Katie Harris, 11; Sydney Boyd, 10; Aubri Branch, nine; Marissa Dubose, eight; and Brooke Hummel, four.
“We had five people who scored in double digits or close to it,” Morgan noted. “That’s pretty good balance in scoring. I’m extremely proud of the team.
“Rome played hard and it was a competitive girls high school basketball game that we were fortunate to win.”
Morgan said the Lady Wildcats will face two more difficult challenges. “We go today to Paulding County, who beat us handily the first time. Then we host Allatoona on Thursday.”
He said both games feature a 6 p.m. tipoff.
Morgan said the games are huge because region playoff seedings are on the line.
“We’re happy to be playing games with this much on the line this late in the season,” he added.
Sonoraville 65, Adairsville 26
Adairsville dug itself a deep hole early and dropped out of sole possession of second place in its region with a 65-26 loss to Sonoraville.
The Lady Tigers trailed 27-4 at halftime but recovered some of their composure down the stretch and made some runs at the region power.
The loss dropped Adairsville (12-9, 9-3 in Region 5B-AAA) into a second place tie with Sonoraville (17-6, 9-3).
Coach Meredith Barnhill said the inability to make shots early proved too huge an obstacle for her team.
“We were 1 of 22 from the field in the first half,” she said. “It’s hard to overcome that kind of performance against a team that can play defense as well as Sonoraville.”
Sonoraville grabbed an 18-0 lead after a quarter of play.
Kelsy Hice finally flipped the lid off the goal for Adairsville by burying two foul shots at the 3:20 mark of the second quarter and the Lady Tigers got on the scoreboard at 19-2. Stephanie Kuhrt scored two points moments later after a Victoria Davis 3-point attempt missed. The two teams went into halftime with Sonoraville up 27-4.
Adairsville came out of the break and appeared to pick up some momentum when Paige Cole buried a 3-pointer with the team’s first shot, but the Lady Phoenix responded with a 7-0 run for a 34-7 lead.
Mallorie Collum sank four points from the foul line to close to 34-11 and a 3-pointer by Julia Roberson and 2-pointer by Hice helped Adairsville close the gap to 36-16. However, Sonoraville answered with a 7-1 run to close the quarter up 43-16.
The Lady Phoenix outscored Adairsville 16-12 in the third frame but got its bearings back in the final frame with a 22-10 run.
Barnhill noted Adairsville played a better second half but said the Lady Tigers still did not find their shooting touch and get the result they wanted.
“They regained a little composure but they didn’t shoot well enough against a team that plays defense as well as Sonoraville,” she added.
Kuhrt led Adairsville with 10 points. Collum dropped in five points and Hice four.
Adairsville next plays Friday, visiting Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe with a 7 p.m. tipoff. It hosts Coahulla Creek on Saturday with tipoff at 3 p.m.
The Lady Phoenix has North Murray remaining on its schedule at 6 p.m. Thursday and Ringgold at 7 p.m. Friday.