Cartersville used a big second half to overcome Darlington by a score of 90-60 Thursday night at Berry College and will move on to play in the Rome News-Tribune Holiday Festival championship game tonight at 8:30 p.m.
“They played better than we did in the first half and we played better than them in the second half,” Cartersville head coach Mike Tobin said. “Our intensity picked up 100 percent in the second half.”
Cartersville trailed by one point in the first quarter, but outscored Darlington 26-18 in the second quarter and 49-27 in the second half.
Ryan Davis led the Canes with 24 points, followed by Corey Tobin’s 21.
Late-game turnovers cost Woodland
According to the classic basketball adage, “The best defense is a good offense.”
Unfortunately for the Woodland boys basketball team, several turnovers Thursday night by the Wildcats’ offense led to some easy baskets in transition for the opposition as Woodland lost to Coosa 69-62 at Georgia Highlands Thursday.
Senior Qua Stocks, who is Woodland’s point guard, had to sit with foul trouble in the fourth quarter. Coosa used the opportunity to make a comeback on the Wildcats.
“We controlled the game most of the time. We led by five, up to eight throughout the game and into the fourth quarter,” Howard said. “Qua [Stocks] got into foul trouble and we had to sit him, and with their full court pressure, we turned the ball over and gave up too many layups.”
According to Howard, the halfcourt defense was not the problem. The problem was getting Woodland’s halfcourt defense set.
“Defensively, it wasn’t that we were doing a bad job,” Howard said. “We just had turnovers and they got some easy baskets off of them, not allowing us to make a defensive stop.”
“The only thing I’m disappointed with is how we handled the ball under pressure. There’s a ton of stuff we’ve been working on in practice and we knew that that was going to be peoples’ game plan coming into the season. We’ll continue to work on it.”
The leading scorers for the Wildcats in the game were Stocks with 13, Romello Hicks with 11, Desmon Simpson with 10 and Carrod Watson with nine.
Woodland is now 6-7 heading into 2014, when the team will get into the meat of region play, starting with North Paulding on Jan. 3. The Wildcats should get a key piece when Daune Davis returns from an injury.
“Hopefully this will give him a chance to get back,” Howard said of Davis. “We haven’t had him since the third game and it’s really hurting us. He’s probably our best defender. It’s really been a struggle without him. We’ve had a hard time matching up with people. He kind of creates turnovers, which helps our offense too. We should get him back before we play again.”
With Davis back in the fold and a break to refocus, Woodland hopes to put some wins together in the second half of the season.
“The real season starts in February, so at least we have some time to work on it and improve before it really counts,” Howard said. “I thought we would be doing a lot better in the win-loss column. It seems that every game we play is a close game and goes right down to the wire and we can’t seem to come away with a win, but we’ll keep working on it.”