Greg Scott, Cass head coach, said his team did not play all that great to start with — leading 11-7 after the first quarter — but stretched the game out with a 19-2 second quarter.
The Colonels kept up their defensive effort in the second half as they forced Fannin County to earn the bulk of its points from the free throw line.
“They only had two field goals the whole second half. The rest of their points came from the free throw line,” said Scott of the Rebels, who made 11 free throws after halftime and trailed 44-16 by the end of the third quarter.
Kadeem Sutton led Cass with 13 points while Zeke Reed chipped in with 10. Jozelle Payne added 6; Najae Jackson 5; Kelin Wells 5; Tony Mitchell 4; Andrew Hunt 4; Drew McKaig 2; Justin Reed 2; Jeremy Coone 2; Blake Kirk 2; and Chris Darden 1.
Leading scorers for Fannin County were Luke Adams and Will Patterson, with 8 points each.
The Colonels improved to 2-1 since Mitchell, a key cog last season, returned to the lineup. Scott noted that his team escaping the game with its health intact was just as important as the final score.
“We accomplished two or three things. First of all, we came out and got a win, and second of all, we came out healthy,” the Cass coach said. “I think this was a good win for us to kind of springboard into next week. We got everybody playing time.”
Next on the calendar for Cass is the Veterans Christmas Tournament being hosted by Veterans High, a school in Kathleen — which is part of Warner Robins. The Colonels (7-3) play Morrow Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
“I think we’re definitely battle-tested early in the season. We’ve had some close games [and] I think that’ll pay off next week. We’re gonna be tested by some athletic kids,” said Scott, mentioning that the Mustangs, Tuesday’s opponent, have a 6-foot-8, 260-pound kid — Dante Ottley.
However, he is just happy to go into any game, regardless of the opponent, with a full team — especially with Mitchell’s presence.
“That’s been a big key for us to get Tony back. He adds another scorer and shooter to our team. He adds another ballhandler to our team. He adds another perimeter defender to our team,” Scott said. “For us to go … 5-2 without him and come back and get a couple wins under our belt … that’s been a big boost to the team, and I’m hoping it’s gonna be a big energizer for us come [region] tournament time.”