“We played hard. We need to play smarter down the stretch. In both games, we had sizable leads but managed to let them back in the game by being careless,” Adairsville head coach Kent Howard said of Saturday’s win and Friday’s 64-48 victory over Gordon Central. “I am proud of our seniors for their effort. We will go where they take us.”
Adairsville’s dynamic senior duo of Sammie Frazier and Tyler Washington each had strong games for the Tigers. Frazier finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds while Washington put in 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Adairsville also got strong play from Marcus Childers and Spenser Moore.
Now 9-7 overall, Adairsville will play its next game at home against North Murray on Tuesday.
Gilmer County 70, Cass 52
With Cass trying to make its mark in region play, the last thing the Colonels needed was an injury to one of its top scorers and its top rebounder.
Unfortunately for head coach Greg Scott and his team, that is exactly what happened Friday night when the team’s top rebounder and second-leading scorer, senior Justin Reed, went down with an ankle injury that will keep him out of action two weeks.
With Reed in street clothes on the bench, Cass was outrebounded 45-28 by Gilmer Saturday night at Cass High as the Colonels fell to 7-14 on the season with a 70-52 loss.
“You take Justin Reed out of our lineup, who is our leading rebounder on both ends, and we got smaller and we were less physical. Add those two together against a team that can shoot the ball like they do, but when they don’t just shoot it well, they can go get it. That was a big difference,” Scott said. “I didn’t think we played with as much emotion tonight as we did last night. I don’t know if we were feeling sorry for ourselves because Justin wasn’t playing. If we felt, maybe, defeated or wounded going into the game. This is a bigger uphill climb than what we should have had.”
Gilmer jumped out to a 19-5 lead in the first quarter and outrebounded Cass 10-3 in the first quarter, capitalizing on several second-chance points.
The Colonels switched to a 2-3 zone late in the quarter and brought the Gilmer lead back down to 10 by the end of the period. The zone seemed to force Gilmer to settle for jump shots and two 3s by Jordan Morning helped draw Cass closer.
However, the Colonels went cold in the second quarter when they shot just 3 for 14 and Gilmer extended its lead to 14 heading into halftime.
Meanwhile, Gilmer took care of the basketball and displayed excellent ball movement to continue getting open shots.
“They’ve got high IQ players. That team has six seniors,” Scott said of Gilmer. “They do a very good job of doing what they were trying to do and they exposed us where we were weakest tonight.”
Offensively, Cass was able to improve in the third quarter and scored 20 points in the period thanks to six points each from Jordan Cothron and Keylon Woodard. The Colonels trailed by 12 heading into the fourth quarter, but Gilmer executed offensively and hit its free throws down the stretch to take the victory and improve to 15-2 on the season.
Joe Bob Charles led all scorers in the game for the Bobcats as he finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds, eight offensive. Charles is committed to play for Young Harris next season.
Pickens 57, Excel 43
Excel lost a tough battle on the road against Class AAAA basketball power Pickens by a score of 57-43 Saturday night.
“We just played a much bigger team, physically, tonight and it was a very physical hard-nosed game,” Excel head coach Chad Parker said. “I’m proud of the guys’ intensity and effort. We played a much bigger, tougher, older team and we went cold. That happens sometimes when you’re a young team. You just have to move on.”
Excel was in the game with Pickens in the first half and trailed by just two at the break. However, the more experienced Pickens was able to make adjustments and slow down the Eagles in the second half.
“In the third quarter they really took away our drives to the basket,” Parker said. “We made adjustments and hit a lot of guys for open shots and we just went cold in the second half. Then we had to play catch up and they just did a really good job against us.”
Kory Tucker led the way for Excel with 15 points. Caleb West and Darius Thrower each had 10.
The Eagles will go back to region play Tuesday at home against Darlington at 7:30 p.m.