The Lady Canes defeated Adairsville, 67-51, at their rival’s gym in girls high school basketball Friday night, earning their fifth win in a row against a season-opening loss.
Kaelyn Irby led Cartersville with 18 points while Adairsville’s Stephanie Kuhrt dropped in a game-high 20 points.
“That’s a dangerous basketball team,” Cartersville head coach Cindy Moore said of Adairsville. “They’ve been playing well of late and gave us as much as we could handle.
“We’re glad to get out of here with a win and I expect them to have a good rest-of-the season. I also expect a tough time when we face them again.”
The two teams fought neck and neck the first quarter, ending the first frame knotted at 11-all. They were tied again at 14-all when Cartersville’s Monica Motuba rebounded a miss and put it back in to go up with 5:30 left in the second quarter. Kimora McClinic, Irby and Rachel Christina added a field goal each and the Lady Canes went up 21-14.
Adairsville responded with a 10-9 run to close the quarter with two buckets each by Mallorie Collum and Kuhrt helping its cause as the Lady Canes carried a 30-24 lead into the break.
Irby buried two treys while sisters Maya and Morgan Jones sank a bucket each as Cartersville stretched its lead to 40-25 four and a half minutes into the third quarter. Adairsville roared back with a 12-4 run, ignited by a 3-pointer by Julia Roberson and trailed just 44-37 to start the final frame.
The Lady Canes opened the fourth with some fireworks of their own as Morgan Jones sank two buckets while her sister added one and Irby buried a trey and a 2-pointer as part of a 15-6 run about five minutes into the frame, giving them a 59-43 lead.
Both teams scored eight points during the games’ final minutes.
Moore said it was a tough evening for both teams.
“It’s a rival game and my hat’s off to Adairsville. They play tough. They know what they do well and they stick with it,” she said. “We have a tough time with them. Both games last year were a struggle.
“Kuhrt’s a player. She wants the basketball and she’s confident when she’s got it, and she works when she doesn’t have it.”
She said Adairsville is always a challenge.
“It makes us better to play teams like that because they do something different,” she said. “They don’t really have a true post up player so our posts have to go out and guard somebody away from the basket. It exposes some things but it makes you better.”
Adairsville dropped to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in Region 5-AAA. It returns to the hardwood Monday, when it will meet the Woodland Lady Wildcats, another cross county rival, in the Rome News-Tribune Holiday Festival.
Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. in the game, played at Georgia Highlands.
Cartersville is 5-1 overall and 2-0 in Region 5-AAA. The Lady Canes next play Cedartown Tuesday in the Rome News-Tribune Holiday Festival. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.
Woodland 73, Villa Rica 41
Woodland High earned its largest victory — in its highest-scoring game — of the high school girls basketball season Friday, closing out region play before the Christmas break with a 73-41 home win over Villa Rica.
“We did a goob job sharing the ball and [we] had a good shooting night,” Woodland coach Kyle Morgan said of his team’s 32-point win. “Overall, it was a team effort. [I’m] pleased with the win.”
The great offensive showing enabled Woodland to apply its pressure defense, Morgan said.
Woodland scored 17 points in both the first and second quarters, leading by seven points after one period. The hosts, however, clamped down to keep Villa Rica to half of its first-quarter scoring total as Woodland led 34-15 at the break.
Led by four double-figure scorers, Woodland continued to pour it on after halftime, going into the fourth quarter with a 52-27 advantage.
Ayrianna Metcalf scored a team-high 16 points for Woodland, while Katie Harris and Marissa Dubose each tallied 13 and Sydney Boyd added 10. Me Me Richardson chipped in with nine points.
Sitting at 5-1 in Region 5-AAAAA, 7-2 overall, Morgan noted its nice to be near the top of the region. Woodland won’t play another region opponent this calendar year, resuming region play Jan. 3 against North Paulding.
The team, however, does travel to face Bartow County rival Cass at 6 p.m. today before playing in next week’s Rome News-Tribune Holiday Festival, which begins Monday for Woodland against another county rival, Adairsville. Tipoff for that game is at 5:30 p.m.