Cass senior Alexis Ware missed out on playing in the Class 5A state tournament her sophomore year after suffering a torn ACL. As a senior, she seemed determined to play in a state playoff game.
That might have been the impetus needed to spur her to quite possibly the best game of her high school career Tuesday afternoon. Ware produced a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Colonels to a 49-35 win over Kell in the quarterfinals of the Region 7-AAAAA tournament at Carrollton.
“She was dominant,” Cass head coach Burt Jackson said of Ware. “She started as a freshman for us. She was getting ready to start as a sophomore when she tore her ACL. We won 20 games [that season] and went to the state tournament. Unfortunately, she missed out on it.
“She basically had that look in her eye that said she wasn’t going to miss it her senior year.”
Ware, Sharia Wade and Payton Stoddard scored three points apiece in the first quarter to give Cass (21-5) a slim 9-7 lead.
Both teams picked up the offensive intensity in the second period. Ware, Claire Davis and Londaisha Smith had four points each. They were the only points of the game for Davis and Smith.
Stoddard knocked down her second 3-pointer of the night in the quarter to help the Colonels enter halftime with a slim 26-21 edge.
Ariana Hames had all four of her points in a low-scoring third period, as Cass carried a 33-24 advantage into the final stanza.
That’s when Ware really dominated. She had 10 points in the fourth quarter and Stoddard added four of her 10 to help send the Colonels back to the state tournament.
A loss to Kell (11-15) at this stage last season ended the season for Cass. This time the Colonels are the ones marching on with a semifinals matchup against Carrollton at 4 p.m. Thursday at Villa Rica.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 64, Adairsville girls 37
The ninth-ranked Adairsville girls put together an outstanding second quarter against No. 5 seed Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, but the Warriors dominated the rest of the game en route to a 64-37 triumph Tuesday at Ringgold.
After defeating Haralson County in the opening round Monday, Adairsville's loss ends its season in the second round of the Region 6-AAA tournament.
Despite a pair of 3-pointers by Coriana McDaniel, LFO jumped out quickly, taking a 16-9 lead after one quarter. Macey Gregg and Milijah Williams combined for all 16 of the Warriors' points, including a trio of 3s by the latter.
They were the only LFO players to score in the second quarter, but an improved defensive effort limited the pair to six points. Meanwhile, Adairsville (6-21) had five players score in the period. Nakiyah Washington had four points, while Havyn Isaac and Breanna Wilson each hit a shot from deep.
The Tigers' 24-22 halftime advantage was short-lived, even though Washington added four more points in the third quarter and Isaac hit another 3, because the Warriors doubled their first-half point total in the third quarter. Gregg had 12 of her 25 points in the period.
Any hopes of Adairsville overturning the 44-35 deficit it faced entering the fourth quarter evaporated at the foul line. LFO (11-15) hit 17 of 22 free throws in the game with Williams scoring six of her 21 from the stripe in the final period.
McDaniel led the Tigers with 10 points, with Isaac and Washington putting up eight apiece in their final high school game.