The Lady Canes opened with a full-court press and it helped force Cass turnovers as well as some ballhandling decisions they were able to capitalize on. The Lady Colonels (4-4) made just four of their shots in the first half, scoring the balance of their 14 points at the charity stripe.
Cartersville (3-1) had dropped 34 points through the nets by halftime, four of them coming at the free throw line.
Kaelyn Irby scored a game-high 17 points for Cartersville while Cass was led by Rejiyah Burley with 13.
Cass coach Jamie Horton said his team caught the Lady Canes on a night when they were playing very well.
“Kae came out and she put on a show,” Horton said. “She’s a very good player, one of the better ones I’ve seen in the 14 years I’ve been here. When she wants to, she can take over a game, and that’s what she did tonight. We didn’t have an answer.”
Cartersville coach Cindy Moore said her team played with intensity the entire game, something coaches want to see from them every night.
“We challenged our kids to come out and play 32 minutes,” Moore said. “The last two ballgames I don’t think we played four quarters. The third quarter has been kind of our downfall.
“I was really pleased with our intensity to start the game. We tried to set the tone early. Our pressure got us a big lead. Our kids played hard and it’s a bonus when you can bring folks in and keep that pressure on.”
Cartersville opened with three quick baskets — two of them by Morgan Jones — before Cass opened its scoring with a putback by Ashley Huskins, resulting in a 6-2 score. The home team added a 3-pointer by Hallie Wachsmuth and Huskins helped her team close to 9-4 with her second bucket. A 13-2 run by Cartersville gave the Lady Canes a 22-6 lead after a quarter of play.
Cartersville outscored Cass 12-8 in the second quarter and carried a 34-14 lead into the break.
Kimora McClinic opened the second half with a 3-pointer for Cartersville and followed it with two buckets to give her team a 41-16 lead while Burley scored a bucket. Cartersville closed the quarter with an 8-3 run.
Cass outscored its host in the final period, 15-10. Seven of those Lady Colonels points came from Esmeralda Thomas.
Moore credited the Lady Canes’ point guard as a big factor in the win.
“We do good things in the open court,” she said. “Like I’ve said many times, when you have Kae in the open court, it’s usually something positive that’s going to happen.
“Still, it was a fun night for the kids getting to play in front of a big crowd here. Cass is a rival and they want to come in here in the Storm Center, our house, and get a win and we’re proud to hang on and do what we needed to do to win the ballgame.
“Hats off to them as far as effort. They worked hard. We probably could have fouled a little less but that’s part of the learning curve. We’re pleased overall. For my seniors to win against a rival is always great.”
Among those scoring for Cartersville were Morgan Jones, 8 points; McClinic, 13 points; Wachsmuth, 9 points; Madison McKinney, 4 points; Monica Motuba, 4 points; and Asia Murray, 2 points.
Cass scorers included Huskins, 4; Hannah Kirkpatrick, 2; Camey Kirkland, 2; Imani Whitfield, 3; Jana Morning, 1; Thomas, 7; and Alexus Garnigan, 2.
The Lady Colonels next play against Woodland on Saturday. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.
The Lady Canes return to the hardwood Tuesday when they host Sonoraville. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.