"[In the] the first half, we didn't do a really good job defensively," said Cartersville coach Donna Enis, whose team led 22-20 at the break. "We were trying to press ... and just never got in rhythm. I felt like we didn't do a good job on the boards [in the] first half. [In the] second half, that was something that we specifically addressed, to try to do a better job rebounding, do a better job on our defense and I felt like we did.
"I felt like we got some steals and got some fast break points that really kind of turned the tide."
Freshman Lady Canes guard Kaelyn Irby opened the third quarter with 5 quick points and continued that surge throughout.
When Irby wasn't forcing steals and driving to the basket, she was on the receiving end of long outlet passes from her teammates.
"We're trying a new defense this year, and we [are] trying to take advantage of our size. When we're moving as the ball's in the air and everybody's doing their job, then we should get a lot of tipped passes, get some steals," Enis said. "I felt like they did that; they did a good job rebounding, getting the outlet pass and getting out ahead, and Irby was just out there ready to set the pace.
"Everybody contributed by getting the pass out there and just getting the ball ahead and trying to run."
Cartersville extended its third-quarter lead to 43-23 following a 14-0 run, with Irby scoring half of those points. She ended the third with 18 points in the quarter, and the Lady Canes were up, 51-27.
The fourth quarter followed a similar script to the previous quarter, as Cartersville led by as many as 36 points -- 73-37 -- after an 8-0 run near the end of the game.
Lady Canes scorers were: Irby, 32; Carlee Bragg, 8; Adrienne Green, 8; Jazmine Baldwin, 7; D'Yasmine Richards, 6; April Gary, 4; Katie O'Connor, 4; Kea Garnigan, 4; and Stefanie Will, 2.
The Lady Bulldogs got double-digit contributions from Ashley McGriff (13) and Nicole Paynter (11).
Cartersville's blowout win over Cedartown provided a better feeling after a tournament-opening loss to Calhoun Thursday.
"The first game was a disappointment because we had the lead late and let it slip away," said Enis, whose team lost 47-44 to the Yellow Jackets on Day 1 of the tournament. "That's the one thing we've got to learn, how to play with a lead and how to protect the ball. ... That was a huge lesson, taking a loss on that. Today I felt like we had to make some halftime adjustments, and I felt like we did. Your living and dying with your young kids so you go as they go. I felt like we had some of the upperclassmen step up, especially in the second half to kind of help the freshmen get in gear."
The team, she said, utilizes 10 players and continues to look for the rotations that work the best.
"Our chemistry is building every game," Enis added. "Getting those rotations right is key."
Cartersville (5-3) will head to another tournament following the Christmas holiday. The Lady Canes play West Forsyth at noon Dec. 30 in the Pickens Holiday Classic.