The Lady Tigers won their third game — compared with two a year ago — the hard way, trailing for three quarters before clawing their way past the Lady Jackets, 54-50, in the final period to earn the win, their first in their region.
Head coach Kent Howard said the victory was sweet.
“We’re still really young, but we’re on the right track,” Howard said. “We have just one senior, and we have a bunch of girls who are starting to see their hard work pay off. They’re finding if they prepare with a mindset to win their games at practice and not wait until the night of the game, they can.”
Rockmart led most of the game, starting out with an 18-14 first-quarter lead, then maintaining that differential until the break, when it was up 27-23.
The Lady Tigers (3-5 overall and 1-1 in Region 7A-AA) clawed two points off the lead by the end of the third quarter, when they trailed 38-36. They scored 18 points in the final period while allowing 12 points through the nets.
Howard credited the effort by his girls and some defensive adjustments made in the second half with the victory.
“Rockmart has a good team, and they shoot very well,” Howard said. “In the first half one of their scorers hit five 3s. We knew we had to slow her down, so we put a little longer defender on her and gave her a little room.”
He said she scored just two points in the second half.
The other Lady Tiger defenders also did a better job of getting to their shooters, he added.
Howard said the Lady Tigers also found their shooting touch for the game.
“We’ve been averaging about 30 points per game — shooting about 22 percent for th year,” he said Friday night. “Tonight we made our free throws and put the ball in the hole. We hit about 40 percent of of shots versus what we’ve been making and that was a big difference-maker.”
The Lady Tigers had three players in double figures, led by Chelsi Riley’s double-double, with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
“Chelsi was phenomenal,” Howard said.
Stephanie Kuhrt torched the nets for 14 points, and Mallorie Collum sank an even dozen.
Adairsville returns to the hardwood on Tuesday, when it hosts the Model Lady Blue Devils. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.