Canes retake region lead; Cass, Excel fall

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The Cartersville boys basketball team appears to be in solid shape with two region games remaining in the regular season.

Cartersville defeated Heritage, Catoosa Friday night by a score of 74-61 on the road to put the Canes tied atop the Region 7-AAAA standings.

“We’re hoping to win these last two region games and don’t have a letdown, but obviously, they’re pumped to win tonight,” Cartersville head coach Mike Tobin said after the win.

The Canes now have an 11-2 region record, as does Heritage. Northwest Whitfield sits at 10-2 and will play Heritage Tuesday.

On Friday, Cartersville jumped out to a 10-point lead at halftime over Heritage, and shot well in the second half, scoring 41 points in the final two periods. Jaylon Pugh was the leading scorer with 24 points, while Cade Archer and T.J. Horton each added 10.

“We shot the ball real well,” Tobin said. “A lot of guys came up big. ... They tried to run a triangle-and-2. We did a good job attacking it.”

Cartersville is now 15-6 overall and will face Ridgeland today at home at 2:30 p.m.

Dalton 78, Cass 71

Just 5 1/2 minutes into Friday night’s game at Cass High against Dalton, the Colonels trailed by a score of 29-2.

Cass made a furious comeback the rest of the game, but ran out of time as they fell to the Catamounts by a score of 78-71.

Cass turned the ball over eight times against Dalton’s fullcourt press in that 5 1/2-minute stretch, often leading to layups for the Catamounts. As a result, Dalton made 12 of its first 13 shots from the field.

Despite the 29-point deficit at the end of the first quarter, the Colonels kept cutting into the lead, narrowing it to 24 at halftime, 19 after the third quarter, and came as close as six points down late in the game.

Mike Sims scored consistently throughout the contest as he finished with 21 points. C.J. Bennett got hot in the second half and scored 17 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including five 3-pointers in the final period. Jacquez Milles chipped in seven assists for Cass while filling in at point guard for the injured Ashton Burley.

With the loss, Cass drops to 9-13 on the year and 3-9 in Region 7-AAAAA. The Colonels return to action Monday with a game at Cartersville.

Mount Zion 66, Excel 63

The Eagles lost an overtime game Friday night at Mount Zion by a score of 66-63.

Caleb West led Excel with 16 points and Darius Thrower scored 13.

Excel now falls to 11-2 on the year and 5-2 in region play. The Eagles will look to bounce back today when they host Mount Paran at 4 p.m.