In the nightcap, the Purple Hurricanes couldn't avenge an earlier loss to the Bucs, losing 69-53 in boys' basketball action.
The Lady Purple Hurricanes had suffered a 45-39 defeat to Allatoona in the teams' first meeting Jan. 13, a game which Cartersville coach Donna Enis felt played into the Lady Bucs' hands.
"We approached it different mentally," Enis said. "I felt like they forced us into playing their game at home, and we had a cold shooting night ... We did shoot a lot better, almost doubling our score. [Kaelyn] Irby, [Adrienne] Green and [Stefanie] Will stepped up for us, but to me the key was defensively I felt we did a good job, [we] kind of played our game and our style and followed our game plan."
After trailing in the first half, the Lady Canes outscored Allatoona 25-5 in the third quarter to carry a 57-39 advantage into the fourth. The Lady Bucs closed the gap on Cartersville's nearly 20-point lead, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Lady Canes from walking away with a double-digit victory.
Irby recorded her second triple-double of the season and led Cartersville with 21 points, followed by Green, 20; Will, 13; Katie O'Connor, 6; Terika Mostella, 4; D'Yasmine Richards, 4; and Kea Garnigan, 3. Irby added 13 assists and 12 rebounds. The sophomore point guard notched her first triple-double against Pickens Jan. 20 and nearly did so again a day later against Calhoun.
Allatoona led 18-14 in the first quarter and 34-32 at halftime, but the Lady Canes -- a still relatively young bunch -- continued to show their growth during this promising season as they put up 39 second-half points to the Lady Bucs' 27.
"I said going into the season we're still young because most of the time we still have three sophomores on the floor," Enis said. "We've had to make some adjustments. We've had to learn some things. We're at the point where I think we've learned from a lot of our mistakes, and we're still learning. ... They're catching on, and we can make adjustments on our game plan."
"Three post players guarded their point guard [Elise Spann] because she had good size," the Cartersville coach added in regard to a strategy that seemed to work well. "She's the key to their team. ... I felt like our kids did a good job on her," Enis said, slightly chuckling while acknowledging that the 5-foot-10 Spann did manage a game-high 32 points.
With the win, the Lady Canes (17-4, 7-1 Region 7B-AAA) are now in a first-place tie with Allatoona (20-2, 7-1).
"No. 1, [the win] was important to be able to put us in a tie for the sub-region," Enis said. "Secondly, I felt like it was important to get a win [against them] just for our confidence."
The Lady Canes have won six games in a row, including last Friday's 67-49 victory at Gilmer. Cartersville held the Lady Bobcats to five first-quarter points in establishing a 12-point lead that built to 37-16 at halftime and 55-30 at the end of the third. Irby (27), Green (14), Garnigan (10), Will (8), O'Connor (4), Mostella (2) and Richards (2) scored for the Lady Canes.
Cartersville has three remaining games -- home games Friday and Saturday with Murray County and Cass, respectively, and its regular-season finale Tuesday at Pickens.
The boys team from Cartersville will look to bounce back from its first loss in six games, which brought an end to a five-game winning streak.
Canes coach Dennis Godfrey said his team -- which trailed 18-16, 31-22 and 49-39 after the first three quarters -- trimmed the lead in half in the fourth but couldn't get any closer to the Bucs.
"I think it was a five-point game with six minutes to go," Godfrey recalled. "They just really took advantage of [their size and length] even more. I'd say we got whipped on the boards 3 to 1. We played hard. They're a good basketball team.
"I'm not disappointed in our effort, it's just our execution at times wasn't where it needed to be. But, their defense had something to do with that."
Elijah Windom scored 21 points to lead Cartersville, and J.R. Davis and Ryan Davis added 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The loss dropped the Canes to 10-6 overall, 5-3 in the sub-region.
Wildcats 65, Northwest Whitfield 51
Woodland collected its 22nd win of the basketball season Tuesday at Northwest Whitfield, winning its fourth straight game, 65-51, after suffering its only loss of the season more than a week ago.
Despite the victory, which gave the Wildcats a season sweep of the Bruins, coach Mike Tobin credited his opponent and thought his team played with more intensity over the weekend and in its last meeting with Northwest Whitfield on Jan. 10, a 71-61 win.
"They're always hustling, and [they're] a blue-collared team. They do some good things. [We're] just happy to get a 'W,'" Tobin said. "I told [our players] after the game [that] honestly I was a little disappointed in our intensity. ... I thought they outhustled us. We definitely played better last weekend, but they definitely did a good job of getting after it, even though we won."
Woodland held the lead after each quarter -- 17-11 in the first, 30-23 at halftime and 45-37 before outscoring the Bruins 20-14 for the final margin.
Three players reached double figures for the Wildcats, Greg Murphy with 18 points, Brandon Thompson with 14 and Corey Tobin with 11. Other scorers were Chandler Royal, 9; Xavier Niblet, 5; R.J. Williams, 5; Tae Covington, 2; and Deo Adams, 1.
Tigers 55, River Ridge 48
Missing its biggest player and facing a team that had beaten it by double digits last time out, Adairsville needed a complete effort Tuesday at River Ridge.
The Tigers got it in a major way, winning 55-48 and defeating a River Ridge basketball team that was third in the sub-region going into the game.
"We played pretty well," Adairsville coach Jacob Travis said. "[Zach] Coker was missing. He was sick tonight, couldn't play, so we knew it was gonna be tough for us."
The Tigers didn't shy away from the task, filling the void for their 6-foot-9 center with a collective rebounding effort. Two players, Roderic King and Austin Harrell, ended the game with double-doubles.
Additionally, Travis praised the defensive efforts from his players, who played smothering man defense.
"A lot of credit goes to Roderic King. He played their best player [Nick] Masterson, held him to 9 [points]," he said. "We knew they could shoot the ball exceptionally well. We zoned 'em last time. This time we came out in a man [defense]."
Tyler Washington and Austin Greenfield also got in on the defensive intensity.
"He did an excellent job on their point guard, [Steven] Spears," Travis said of Washington's defense. Of the two Tigers, he added, "They didn't really score a lot, but they really caused a lot of problems defensively on the basketball. I think we made them shoot shots they weren't comfortable shooting."
In the first quarter, Adairsville jumped out to a 14-8 first-quarter lead before the Knights came back to take a 26-22 lead at the break. River Ridge still had a four-point edge, 38-34, going into the last quarter, but the Tigers outscored them 21-18.
"We started well; we finished well," said Travis, whose team lost to the Knights 63-41 Jan. 6.
King led the way for Adairsville, making the right decisions and hitting clutch free throws in the end. He finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds and was 6 of 10 from the foul line -- 5 of 8 in the last 8 minutes. Harrell also had a great impact on the game, scoring 17 and grabbing an insane amount of rebounds -- 22. "He picked up the slack," Travis said of Harrell's ability to help fill Coker's void.
Other scorers for the Tigers were Chanse Fuleki (14), who also had seven rebounds, Greenfield (5) and Washington (1).
Adairsville (8-13, 5-6 Region 7A-AA) next plays Friday at Woodland, with a tipoff at 7:30 p.m.
"[It's a] big game for us to test ourselves against a team in a higher classification," Travis said of his team's two-class jump to face the county rival Wildcats. "It's gonna be a fun game for us -- not a lot to lose but a lot to gain."