The Purple Hurricanes, who are currently ranked No. 8 in the state coaches poll in girls high school basketball, started strong and made it an uphill battle for their cross-county rivals by snatching a 22-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, then added slightly to their differential to walk into the break up by 24 points.
The Lady Colonels, for their part, improved their performance each quarter and actually outscored the Lady Purple Hurricanes in the final period.
"We got off to a fast start against Cass," Cartersville head coach Donna Enis said. "We were able to take advantage of our size on the inside, but they stopped us on some other things we were trying to do.
"They pressured our guards and were able to hurt us a little bit with that."
"I can't fault our girls for their effort," Cass coach Jamie Horton said. "They were a little timid at first, but once they got their feet wet they got after them pretty well."
Cartersville ran out to a 10-0 lead to start the contest, as D'Yasmine Richards twice found the net from deep in the paint, then Katie O'Connor buried two free throws and chased them with two field goals before Amber Bowen hit a free throw to interrupt the Lady Cane point streak.
Jasmine Estwick added a free throw and a field goal to a bucket by Bowen to tack the other 5 points onto the Lady Colonels' 6 points in the period while Cartersville added a dozen.
The Canes started with an 9-4 run in the second quarter, capped by a free throw by Adrienne Green, to stretch their lead to 31-10. The Canes closed with a 13-10 run that let them nurse a 44-20 lead at halftime.
The two teams battled on more even terms in the third quarter but Kaelyn Irby found her shooting touch and scorched the net for 10 of Cartersville's 15 points. Estwick and Bowen combined for 9 of the Lady Colonels' 11 points in the period.
Cass outscored Cartersville in the final period, 16-13.
Irby scored 21 points to lead the Lady Canes. Richards, O'Connor and Kea Garner contributed 8 points each.
The Lady Colonels were led in scoring by Jasmine Estwick, with 21, and Amber Bowen, who strained 13 points through the nets.
Enis said Cartersville, which improved to 5-1 overall and is 0-0 in Region 7B-AAA, has been using the early season to learn its strengths.
"We're trying to figure out how our different combinations work and what works best for us," she said.
She said a win against Cass is always hard, though. "This is a big game for us. Every time we play against Cass it's a big game. Both teams play hard."
Horton said the Lady Colonels have been improving in the early season, although that's not as easy to tell with their 0-4 record.
"We've played a first runner-up, three Elite Eight teams and a 20-game winner from a year ago so far," he said. "That's maybe not such a great job of scheduling by the head coach."
The Lady Canes return to the hardwood Saturday when they visit Dalton. Tip-off is at 3 p.m.
On Friday night the Lady Colonels fell to Fannin County, 56-44.
Cass next plays Friday, when it visits Sequoyah to kick off play in Region 7-AAAA. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.