The victory allowed Woodland to improve to 12-6 overall and 8-2 in its sub-region.
“I’m real proud of the girls,” head coach Kyle Morgan said. “It was a good rebound from Tuesday’s performance. I thought we played four really hard quarters against a really good team. We did just enough there at the end to win.”
The Lady Wildcats had bowed to Paulding County, 50-36, Tuesday and scored just three points in the second quarter.
But Friday night, Woodland put all that behind it as the Lady Wildcats stood toe to toe with the Rome Lady Wolves throughout the entire game.
The Lady Wildcats also handled the pressure when the going got tough.
Woodland scratched its way out to an 11-4 lead after a quarter of play and used a 11-12 performance in the second quarter to go into halftime up, 22-16.
Rome had trailed the Lady Wildcats until it hit a bucket with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter, giving it its first lead of the night at 36-35. It didn’t last. Woodland answered with a bucket by Sydney Boyd and went up 37-36 only to have the Lady Wolves respond in kind for a 38-37 lead.
A 3-pointer by Katie Harris put the Lady Wildcats back into the lead, 40-38, for good, and Woodland added two more points on foul shots against one for Rome to lead 42-39 after three full quarters of play.
Woodland used a 10-3 run to go up 52-42 at the midway point of the final frame. Rome answered with a 10-3 run to close to 55-52.
With the Lady Wolves threatening to tie the game, Brooke Hummel stepped in front of a pass to a Lady Wolf positioned to make a 3-point shot and was immediately fouled after her catch.
She hit both shots to preserve Woodland’s victory.
Morgan said the victory keeps Woodland pointed at its goal for the regular season.
“We are still in first place in the sub-region,” he said. “That’s our goal, to get as high a seed as possible come region tournament. That was a big step in the right direction tonight.”
Boyd led Woodland scorers with 13 points. Hummel dropped in 10 points and Harris tallied 9 points.
Rome, Allatoona and Paulding County all have four losses in region play and Woodland will have to go through that gauntlet again.
However, Morgan is focusing on other games as well.
“We have another tough game today against East Paulding,” he said Friday night.
Excel 41, Christian Heritage 39
With Excel trailing by two points and around a minute left, Bekah Bell buried a 3-pointer and Lindsey Mauldin added a free throw as the Lady Eagles edged Christian Heritage, 41-39.
The victory was Excel’s fourth in a row and third consecutive sub-region victory.
“It was a great win for our program,” head coach Eric Harris said. “We didn’t play especially well tonight. We didn’t shoot well and didn’t do well at the free throw line, but we were able to get an ugly win. It’s nice to be able to get an ugly win sometimes.”
Excel took an early lead on the night, outscoring Christian Heritage 13-9 after a quarter of play. The Lady Eagles took it on the chin the second quarter, however, and tallied just four points while their foe scored 11 points and surged to a 20-17 halftime lead.
The Lady Eagles righted their ship in the third quarter, using a 10-6 run to take the lead again, at 27-26, after the frame ended.
In the final period, Excel scored 14 points while allowing 13 by Christian Heritage.
Harris cited the effort of a lot of Lady Eagles as contributing to the victory.
“I can’t say enough about Andrea Taylor,” Harris said. “Every night she just brings it. She played huge for us, scoring 20 points.”
He said Taylor was 5-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final quarter.
Lexie Robinson dropped in seven points.
“Bekah Bell tallied four points but that was a huge 3-pointer for us,” he added.
Excel improved to 5-11 overall.
The Lady Eagles play again today when they visit Pickens County. Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m.
Adairsville 41, Gordon Central 37
When the going got tough, Adairsville turned to its pressure game and that helped it win its third game in a row, 41-37, over Gordon Central.
“Our defense kept us in the game,” head coach Meredith Barnhill said. “Our pressure helped us get a few steals and we were able to convert enough to earn a victory.”
Adairsville improved to 6-1 in Region 5-AAA with the victory, good enough for second place. The Lady Tigers are 8-7 overall.
Gordon Central grabbed the lead early, pulling out to a 10-8 score after a quarter of play, but Adairsville stayed close in the second frame, during which it was outscored 8-7, and trailed 17-16 at halftime.
The Lady Tigers used a 14-8 run in the third quarter to go ahead 30-25. Gordon Central shaded the visiting team 12-11 in the final frame.
Adairsville’s biggest lead of the evening was seven points.
“We could not put Gordon Central away,” Barnhill said. “We didn’t play well as a team but played well in spurts. We just had a hard time getting two or three to have a good game all at the same time.”
Among the contributors for Adairsville were Stephanie Kuhrt, 14 points; Mallorie Collum, 10 points and eight rebounds; Kelsy Hice, six points; Katie Graf, 6; Julia Roberson and Victoria Davis, two each.
Adairsville next plays today at Coahulla Creek. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.
Irby scores 1500th point
Kaelyn Irby reached a career milestone, scoring her 1500th point, as Cartersville stayed perfect in its region by defeating Ringgold on Friday night, 68-38.
Irby paced the Lady Purple Hurricanes with 20 points and her team dominated its opponent after jumping out to a 12-0 lead to start the night.
Cindy Moore, Cartersville’s head coach, said her senior point guard continues to put on a show with her mastery of the game.
“She also had nine steals and nine assists — almost a triple double for us,” Moore said. “She’s capable of so many good things. It’s great to coach someone like Kae and it’s great for our kids to have a teammate like her, who’ll reward you for rushing downcourt by distributing the ball to you.”
Just as important was the way she pushed her team to victory against its region foe.
Moore said the whole team had a good performance.
“We did a lot of good things tonight,” she said. “We have been challenging our kids to take care of the little things, and I was pleased with our intensity, especially at the start of the game. We had not been coming out of the gate as well as we should have recently.”
Cartersville had no such troubles Friday night, however, as the Lady Canes raced out to a 20-11 lead after a quarter of play. Cartersville used a 16-13 run to enter the halftime locker room with a 36-24 lead.
Cartersville outscored Ringgold 13-9 in the third quarter for a 49-33 lead and closed with a 19-5 run to finish scoring on the evening.
Other contributors were Maya Jones, 10 points, five rebounds; Madison McKinney, 10 points; and Hallie Wachsmuth, eight points.
Moore said picking up a region win was big for the team.
“It was a milestone for Kae and it was good to see her reach it,” she said.
Moore said the point guard has accumulated some impressive statistics during her career.
“She has over 500 assists, 400 steals and 400 rebounds,” Moore said. “Those are some pretty well-rounded stats.”
Cartersville improved to 15-3 on the season and 8-0 in the region with the latest win.
But Cartersville still has some major stumbling blocks in its path.
“We have a big week ahead for us,” she said. “We have two big region games — Sonoraville on Tuesday and Adairsville at home Friday.”
Cartersville visits Sonoraville the early part of the week with a 6 p.m. tipoff scheduled. It plays Adairsville on Friday with a 7 p.m. start set.