Enis did not have to fret much as Cartersville held Pepperell to single digits to start the game before picking things up on its way to a 71-57 win.
"Last night we set the school record for scoring margin and having a big win like that and coming back the next day, sometimes you experience a letdown," the Lady Canes head coach said, alluding to her team's 64-point victory against Rockmart. "We got off to a slow start and then picked it up [in] the second quarter. We had some really big runs in this game."
Cartersville led 14-3 after the first quarter as it turned to its defense to provide the spark. In the second quarter, the Lady Canes exploded for close to 30 points as they led 41-16 at halftime.
The Lady Dragons made a run at Cartersville immediately after the break, but the Lady Canes still led 53-38 -- despite getting outscored by 10 points in the third quarter. Pepperell managed to outscore Cartersville again in the fourth, just slightly, as the Lady Dragons held a 19-18 scoring edge to close the game.
Enis said her team played well defensively for much of the game.
"With the exception of a stretch in the third quarter, I thought our defense played well," she said. "[It is] still early [in the] season and [we are] making some mistakes and trying to work through those, and I felt like we really did that."
Kaelyn Irby led the Lady Canes with 23 points, 11 assists and six steals; Stefanie Will added 15 points and five steals; Kea Garnigan scored 12 points; Jazmien Baldwin chipped in with 7 points and 14 rebounds; Katie O'Connor had 5 points and 12 rebounds; D'Yasmine Richards also scored 5; and Adrienne Green tallied 4.
Cartersville's coach highlighted her team's rebounding effort, led by Baldwin and O'Connor's combined 26 boards, which she pointed to as a focal point heading into the game. Overall, the team, she added, came through in many of the game's facets.
"It was great team effort," Enis continued. "We're just getting contributions across the board."
And the Lady Canes seem to be just getting better. After a narrow loss to returning state qualifier Model to open up the tournament, Cartersville rebounded to win its last two games and benefited from playing good programs.
"That was something we really wanted to do was play some quality competition in this early-season tournament [and] work on some things," Enis said. "I'm pretty pleased."
Cartersville (2-1) returns to action Tuesday for its home opener against Gordon Central. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Woodland boys 78,
Gordon Central 53
A week after getting off to a slow start, the Woodland boys had no trouble flying out the chute Saturday as they dispatched of Gordon Central, 78-53, in high school basketball action.
Wildcats coach Mike Tobin, whose team beat Walker last week but only after a sluggish first half, noted that his players knew they had to improve their play early on.
"We played last Saturday and got off to a real slow start and had the mindset that we'd get off to a much better start," said Tobin in reference to Woodland's 60-34 win over Walker last Saturday.
Greg Murphy, who finished with 30 points, led the Wildcats' surge as he scored 13 points in what Tobin called an "unbelievable first quarter" for the 6-foot-4 junior forward. Woodland led 20-8 going into the first quarter and were up 39-26 at halftime.
The Warriors attempted to hang tough as the Wildcats could only add three more points to their advantage after three quarters -- 57-41 -- but the hosts put away Gordon Central in the fourth quarter with the effort Tobin hopes becomes customary for his team.
"What I was pumped about late in the game is Tae Covington -- we're up by 25 -- and he's diving for a loose ball," the Woodland head coach said. "That's what we're looking for, full-out effort the whole game."
Along with Murphy's contributions, the Wildcats also got scoring from Corey Tobin, 14, 6 of 6 at the free-throw line; R.J. Williams, 11; Brandon Thompson, 8; Deo Adams, 8; Chandler Royal, 4; and Covington, 3.
Woodland (4-0) will need to bring that intensity for its next game, which will be another home date, against Model -- a tournament finalist in the Southeast Hoopfest.
"Our next game is against Model, and they got a rock-solid team," Tobin said of the Blue Devils. "It should be a great game on Tuesday."
The two teams are scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. on Pom-Pom Night, where the first 100 fans get pom-poms.
Cass boys 55, Rome 52
Two of the last three matchups between the Cass and Rome boys basketball teams have come down to the wire -- including an overtime Colonels win at last year's Region 7-AAAA tournament -- and the area rivals picked up where they left off Saturday as Cass prevailed, 55-52, in the Southeast Hoopfest.
The Colonels utilized a big 3-pointer from Drew McKaig and Najae Jackson was money from the charity stripe to salt away the victory.
"Najae Jackson hit 4 out of 5 free throws in the fourth quarter, three of those in the last 12 seconds, which was very big," Cass coach Greg Scott said.
All-tournament team selection Zeke Reed led the Colonels with 19 points and other scorers included Jackson, 14; Kadeem Sutton, 13; Jarius Blackwell, 4; McKaig, 3; and Jozelle Payne, 2.
Offensive production for the Wolves came from Jordan McClure, 12; Demarcus Johnson, 10; Matthew Scott, 8; Spencer Mayes, 7; Veshawn Bell, 5; Corey Jordan, 4; Tay Coley, 4; and Ben Burge, 2.
Rome snatched a six-point lead, 18-12, heading into the second quarter but Cass was able to take a 30-29 edge into the locker room.
Greg Scott said his team had four players with two fouls in the first half. However, bench players stepped up to contribute and help steady the Colonels' effort.
"Jarius stepped up and played well off the bench. We got good play really out of everyone that came off the bench," Scott added. Though Blackwell scored the team's only bench points, the Cass head coach said other bench players contributed in other ways, including defensively.
"Everybody that came of the bench contributed. It was a total team effort today," he acknowledged.
The Colonels closed out tournament play with a 2-1 record as they head into the second week of their season.
"[Our] early-season schedule for us has been good," Scott said. "I think that's gonna make us better later on. ... We've got some young kids that are moving [up] to play varsity ball for the first time ... We really wanted to see how they would react when another colored jersey was in front of them.
"I feel like we're in pretty good shape as far as where I thought we would be."
He added that the team should be better once it gets up to full strength with players, like Andrew Hunt (ankle), returning from injuries.
Gordon Central 40, Woodland girls 27
The Lady Wildcats got plenty of looks at the basket Saturday, many of which were good shots, but suffered through a tough shooting night as they lost their first basketball game of the season to visiting Gordon Central, 40-27.
"We struggled shooting. We took a lot of shots, and they just didn't fall," Woodland coach Colman Roberts said. "I thought a lot of shots we took we're good [shots]. I think we missed seven or eight layups [and] were 9 for 17 from the free-throw line."
"And a lot of times I think we went to sleep on defense. We have to communicate a lot better," Roberts continued. "We gotta come to play every day. I just though we were flat. We definitely didn't play like we did against North Paulding [a 49-31 win on Tuesday]."
The Lady Wildcats had fallen behind 12-8 by the end of the first quarter and trailed 21-14 by halftime. Though it never gave up more than 12 points in any quarter, Woodland faltered in its attempt to get back in the game as its output in a single quarter never reached double digits. The Lady Wildcats were down 31-21 heading into the fourth.
Scorers for Woodland were Lyrica Solomon, 9; Jessie Michaels, 6; Brooke Hummel, 5; Kennedy Robinson, 4; and Deja Bolton, 3.
Roberts said he will not allow his team, which has gone 3-1, to make any excuses as it tries to get better by playing a tough early-season schedule.
"To get better and hopefully be where we want to be in February, we have to play good teams. Gordon Central was good today," said the Lady Wildcats head coach, whose team prepares to face Model -- a 24-win playoff team last season.
Woodland and Model are scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Lady Wildcats' gym.
Cartersville girls 82, Rockmart 18
Cartersville ran into a buzz saw its first time out last week and on Friday it switched those roles with a vengeance and crushed Rockmart, 82-18, in high school basketball.
The Lady Purple Hurricanes were edged by Model, 62-59, in their first game of the season Tuesday, and that was a factor in the emphatic defensive dismantling of the Lady Yellow Jackets.
"We learned a lot about ourselves against Model," head coach Donna Enis said Friday night, "and we had an opportunity to correct some of those things Wednesday. I feel we did correct some of them.
"That's what happens when you go up against a really good team your first game of the season and you already have some of the first-game jitters. We were more relaxed tonight and kind of picked it up."
The dismantling came at both ends of the court Friday.
The Lady Canes exploded offensively right out of the gate, grabbing a 25-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, then poured it on for two more quarters while holding a defensive noose around their opponents all evening.
Cartersville held Rockmart to just 3 points in the second frame while ripping the nets for 24 more points and a 49-10 lead at the break. It added 23 more points in the third quarter against 8 for Rockmart and closed with a 10-0 run in the final period.
"Our defense looked good tonight," Enis said. "They played hard, rebounded and blocked out. In the fourth quarter, they held Rockmart to zero points and I was real pleased with that effort."
She said the Lady Canes limited Rockmart's scoring primarily with its half-court defense, adding the team was credited with 26 steals and 49 rebounds in unofficial stats.
The thievery was led by Kaelyn Irby, Katie O'Connor and Maya Jones.
Adrienne Green, D'Yasmine Richards and Jazmien Baldwin showed the way in the rebound department while Irby was credited with 11 assists.
"Kaelyn Irby really spread the ball around, found the open people and showed very unselfish play," Enis said. "The total team effort was good. The intensity was good, and defensively they really did a good job in the half court."
She said Stefanie Will was very consistent on defense and Baldwin played well in the middle.
"Richards is playing really well," she said. "She's a big force there in the middle. I feel we did a good job as a team. Our freshmen and younger sophomores played the final quarter and they didn't let Rockmart score. They are leaving their mark."
Scoring for the Lady Canes were Will, 15; O'Connor, 9; McKenzie Mowry, 1; Kea Garnigan, 4, Asia Murray, 3; Irby, 10; Morgan Jones, 2; Green, 11; Maya Jones, 8; Richards, 12; and Baldwin, 7.
Cass boys 68, Southeast Whitfield 52
Despite resilient play in their basketball season opener at the Southeast Hoopfest, the Cass boys relinquished a slim, first-quarter lead Tuesday in a 72-60 loss to North Cobb Christian, an Elite Eight team in last year's Class A state tournament. The Colonels, however, were better rewarded for their yeoman-like effort in Game 2 of the 2011-2012 season.
Getting out to a 16-point advantage, Cass never allowed tournament host Southeast Whitfield to draw closer than eight points in the second half as the Colonels held on for a 68-52 win. Zeke Reed had a game-high 30 points for the victors, while Jozelle Payne (12), Drew McKaig (9), Najae Jackson (7), Jarius Blackwell (4), Kadeem Sutton (2), Justin Reed (2) and Chris Darden (2) added to the Cass cause.
Raiders Zack Ramsey (19), Devin Gentry (12), Ashton Storey (11), Gavin Hill (4), Bryce Middlebrooks (2), Rhett Harper (2) and Chaz Payne (2) scored for their team.
Coach Greg Scott said his Colonels got off to a scorching start -- two players in particular.
"We got a hot start to the game, 22 points in the first quarter, and they all came from Zeke Reed (14) and Jozelle Payne (8)," he said.
That 22-6 first-quarter run allowed Cass to offset limited play from Sutton, who Scott said was feeling a little bit under the weather. Other players, he said, eventually got into the fold and the Colonels carried a 35-21 lead midway through the game.
Southeast Whitfield kept working to cut into the lead, which it did by the end of the third quarter.
"Southeast Whitfield made a run at us in the third quarter and actually got it down to eight [points]," Scott said of his team's lead, which was whittled to 44-36 to start the fourth.
However, Cass turned to its hot hand as Zeke Reed scored 11 of his points in the final quarter. McKaig also proved clutch in crunch time, scoring 7 of his 9 points in the fourth -- including five from the free-throw line.
"[We] had to kind of gather ourselves back in," Scott said after the Raiders used a dribble-drive offense to free players up for eight 3s. "We did a good job limiting second shots [Friday] and not giving 'em any second- and third-[shot] opportunities off long rebounds.
"And we did a great job attacking the basket on the break."
North Cobb 67, Adairsville girls 25
Facing a team that plays three classifications higher would have been tough enough for the Lady Tigers, but Adairsville also had the unfortunate task of trying to topple the seventh-ranked Class AAAAA team, North Cobb. The basketball game looked like a mismatch going in and played out that way as the Lady Warriors, an Elite Eight ballclub a year ago, romped to a 67-25 victory in the semifinals of the Darlington Lady Tiger Thanksgiving Classic on Friday.
The Lady Tigers are not the first, nor likely the last, team to experience that sort of night at the hands of North Cobb. The Lady Warriors defeated Pepperell, 82-20, in their first game of the tournament.