Kaelyn Irby almost pulled off a triple double for the Lady Purple Hurricanes and she was credited with 11 points, 12 assists and 9 steals while helping her team advance to the quarterfinals of the Region 7-AAA tournament being played in Murray County.
The win improved the Lady Canes' record to 20-5 overall on the year. They finished 8-2 in 7B-AAA and entered the tournament as the sub-region's No. 2 seed. The loss dropped Ringgold's record to 7-18. It finished 6-3 in 7A-AAA and was its sub-region's No. 3 seed.
Cartersville head coach Donna Enis noted the win qualifies Cartersville to return to the state playoffs a third straight year and added it is a big step for her team.
"We're glad to get this victory," she said. "This gets the pressure off and the rest of the way we'll be playing for position [in the playoffs.]"
The Lady Canes trailed early against Ringgold, falling behind 10-9 at the end of the quarter. They reversed the leaderboard by the half, going up 18-16.
In the third quarter, Cartersville stretched its lead to a dozen points, with the score 39-27 by quarter's end. It upped its lead by 8 more points in the final quarter, accounting for its 20-point victory.
Cartersville plays at 4 p.m. today against Gilmer County, with the winner playing Saturday for the region championship.
The Lady Canes had played their final game of the season on Feb. 7.
"Ringgold played Tuesday and tonight they played really well," Enis said. "We were sluggish, but in the second half, we were able to get it back together."
She said the Lady Canes picked it up all across the board. "We kind of picked it up on the defensive and offensive ends and pulled the game out."
Enis said this edition of the Lady Canes has a lot of depth. "I feel we've got good balance. If someone is having an off night, another player steps up. Tonight we played 12 girls and having that many who can contribute is always a good thing."
The Lady Canes are no strangers to the playoffs, having made them about 15 times in the past 20 years.
Enis said her team -- which made the Elite 8 last year in the state playoffs -- set high goals this year.
"We had such a good run last year and we set this as our goal," she said. "But we have to be more consistent with our play. Hopefully playing these games back to back will help us get into rhythm again."
She said today's opponent -- Gilmer County -- may be a familiar foe to the Lady Canes, it will be dangerous as it is looking to continue a hot streak in the region tournament.
"Gilmer beat Dalton [Thursday night] and that's a pretty big upset," she said.
The win means 7B-AAA has at least three teams in the region's final four, with Pickens County potentially its fourth member.
The balance of power in the subregions shift back and forth quickly, but it shows Cartersville has been playing against some quality teams this season, which is a plus at playoff time.
Helping Cartersville's cause Thursday night were Stefanie Will, 15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 steals; Katie O'Connor, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals; McKenzie Mowry, 2 points; Kea Garnigan, 3 points; Morgan Jones, 4 points; Terika Mostella, 4 points, 5 rebounds; Adrienne Green, 4 points, 5 rebounds; D'Yasmine Richards, 6 points, 6 rebounds; Jazmine Baldwin, 4 points, 3 rebounds.