For about seven-eighths of their Region 7-AAAAA consolation matchup, the Cartersville girls showcased the improved play that saw them qualify for the Class 5A state tournament. Unfortunately for the …
For about seven-eighths of their Region 7-AAAAA consolation matchup Friday at The Storm Center, the Cartersville girls showcased the improved play that saw them qualify for the Class 5A state tournament.
Unfortunately for the Canes, that remaining one-eighth — which comprised the final 4 minutes of the second quarter — saw Cartersville revert to its bad habits. As such, the 14-2 run Calhoun went on to end the opening half wound up being the difference in a 57-44 victory for the Yellow Jackets.
“The second quarter was our downfall,” Canes head coach Cindy Moore said. “Let’s just be honest. We missed 10 high-percentage shots, so that’s 20 points. They got five offensive rebounds in that quarter, so that was a 10-15 point swing easy.
“We gave ourselves chances early that we didn’t capitalize on, and then we fought the whole second half.”
Cartersville (7-16) certainly battled over the final two quarters.
Having been doubled up in the first half, 32-16, the fifth-seeded Canes pulled within nine points late in the third quarter, when Lehla Thomas scored six of her team-high 16 points. No. 3 seed Calhoun responded with a 10-0 spurt only to see Cartersville answer back with eight straight points to narrow the gap to 48-37.
“I was very pleased with the effort in the second half,” Moore said. “When you’re down 16, we could have rolled over. We challenged them at halftime, and we fought.
“We came out and put a little pressure on them. … We hadn’t pressed them in any game we played against them, so I thought that was something to change the pace a little bit. It got our engines going a little bit and was an asset in the second half.”
At that point, the Canes, who were playing their fourth game in nine days, seemed to run out of gas.
With a trip to Region 6-AAAAA champion New Manchester on deck for the first round of the state playoffs at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Douglasville, Cartersville will look to rest up over the weekend.
“We definitely have to take [Saturday] off, because this is seven straight days of either games or practice,” Moore said. “Mentally, they’re tired. Physically, they’re exhausted. …
“That region didn’t have a region tournament, so that’s to their advantage, as far as being well-rested.”
On the other hand, the Canes would have been on the outside looking in had its region not had a tournament. The three games this week also saw Cartersville put together some of its best stretches of play all year.
Facing a top-10 team Tuesday, though, the Canes will need to put four complete quarters together in order to pull off the upset.
“I feel like we’re playing some of our best basketball at times this whole week,” Moore said. “The first half against Cass, the second half against Calhoun and obviously, the defensive effort on Monday. We did some good things this week.
“With an accumulation of all that, hopefully, we can get a good game plan going into next week.”