Cartersville, Adairsville to battle for region lead Woodland, Lady Tigers notch wins, Excel falls
by David Royal
Jan 22, 2014 | 1002 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kimora McClinic hit two free throws with .3 seconds remaining and Cartersville slipped by Sonoraville, 66-64, Tuesday night.

The victory pushed Cartersville’s Region 5-AAA record to 9-0 and sets up a battle over region positioning with Adairsville (8-1) on Friday night at The Storm Center.

“We just hung on to get the win,” head Cartersville basketball coach Cindy Moore said. “But we’ll take it.”

Cartersville had opened the evening with a good first-half performance and led 41-23 at the break only to see Sonoraville mirror that performance with two excellent showings in the third and fourth quarters that fell just short of what the Lady Phoenix needed to win.

“We played a great first half,” Moore said. “Everyone contributed and we executed very well. We did a good job defensively to hold them to 23 first-half points. Then Sonoraville played a great second half and the game came down to .3 seconds and Kimora McClinic, our freshman, pulled down the rebound from a missed shot and we were able to escape with a victory.”

Sonoraville outscored Cartersville eight points each in the third and fourth quarters.

“We happened to be up by 18,” Moore noted.

She said the two teams played at a high level. “Both teams did some really great things, and we’re fortunate to come out with a win.”

Hallie Wachsmuth led Cartersville with 18 points — her highest point total of the season.

“Hallie hit three huge 3-pointers for us in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 in the fourth,” she said.

Kaelyn Irby dropped in 15 points while McClinic chipped in 10.

Moore said both teams gave their best effort.

“It was the kind of battle you’d expect from two teams with so much experience,” Moore added. “We’re glad we were able to keep the region lead.”

Cartersville used a 19-16 run to roll out to a first-quarter lead over Sonoraville. The Lady Canes then ran over a 22-7 mark and were leading 41-23 at the break.

Sonoraville closed to 49-39 after three full quarters of play and outscored the Lady Canes, 25-17, in the final frame.

The Lady Phoenix were 23 of 29 at the free throw line while Cartersville was 9 of 12.

“Fortunately we were able to have an opportunity to come down the court with the game tied and got a rebound after a miss. Having a freshman taking those shots like that will make them grow up in a hurry,” Moore added.

Moore said Cartersville (15-3 overall) must now turn its attention to Adairsville (10-7 overall).

“We have to work two days to get ready for Adairsville with region position on the line and against a team that’s also a county rival,” she said.

The Adairsville game is to start at 7 p.m.

Adairsville 37, North Murray 32

Baskets were at a premium Tuesday evening at Adairsville High School as the Lady Tigers and visiting North Murray waged a defensive battle on the hardwood in Region 5-AAA girls basketball.

The hosts, however, came up with just enough points for the win and, more importantly, came up with key stops down the stretch to pull out a 37-32 victory over the Lady Mountaineers.

“Neither team shot well but both teams played pretty good defense,” coach Meredith Barnhill said following her Adairsville team’s five-point win. “We played a very sound, fundamental defensive game. We made some adjustments to our defense this week to match their personnel, and we did a very good job moving when we needed to and getting into position.”

The Lady Tigers held North Murray to just three points in the first quarter as they took a six-point lead. The Lady Mountaineers crept a bit closer in the second, but Adairsville’s defense again held the visitors under 10 points for the quarter to grab a 19-11 halftime edge.

Coming out of the break, the Lady Tigers notched their most points in a single quarter, reaching 12 in the third. North Murray trailed 31-20 heading into the fourth before outscoring the Lady Tigers, 12-6, to provide the final margin.

Mallorie Collum scored 19 points to lead Adairsville. Kelsy Hice also reached double figures with 11 points while Julia Roberson added 3 and Paige Cole and Stephanie Kuhrt 2 each.

Normally one of the Lady Tigers’ high scorers, Kuhrt was below her average output but more than made up for it on the other end of the floor with her activity.

“She struggled offensively but she made some big defensive plays in the fourth that were timely,” Barnhill said.

She said Collun and Hice were big factors in their victory.

“Mallorie and Kelsy both stepped up big for us tonight and really played their hearts out,” Barnhill said.

The win was Adairsville’s fifth in a row.

Woodland 51, North Paulding 32

North Paulding shaded Woodland in the first quarter, 14-11, but the Lady Wildcats turned up the defensive heat — especially in the second half — and ended up with a one-sided, 51-32, victory in girls high school basketball Tuesday night.

The Lady Wildcats were paced by Katie Harris, who dropped 24 points on North Paulding.

Head coach Kyle Morgan praised his team’s response.

“It was a total team effort,” he said. “Everyone was committed to playing good team defense.”

Morgan said the defensive play opened the door to some easy offensive plays, too.

“We were able to force them into some turnovers and get some rebounds with our defense, which enabled us to get some transition baskets and enabled us to increase the tempo of the game a bit.”

He said the focused play was on both ends of the court.

North Paulding led early on the evening, going out front 14-11 after a quarter of play. The Lady Wildcats responded with a 12-8 run in the second quarter and entered the halftime lockers leading 23-22.

Woodland dominated the third quarter with an 18-6 run and led 41-28 after three full quarters of play. The Lady Wildcats closed the game with a 10-4 run.

Morgan said Woodland helped itself a lot by holding North Paulding to just 10 points after the break.

“I was pleased with our girls’ ability to come out in the second half and play good defensive basketball,” he said. “They played well on both ends, particularly in the third quarter.”

Sydney Boyd also contributed nine points to Woodland’s cause. Nine players made offensive contributions to Woodland’s victory.

Woodland improved to 14-6 overall and is 8-2 in Region 5A-AAAAA.

Woodland returns to the hardwood Saturday when it visits Adairsville. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.

Darlington 65, Excel 38

Darlington threw a defensive net around Excel late in the first quarter on its way to overpowering the Lady Eagles, 65-38, in girls high school basketball Tuesday night.

Excel stayed with its highly regarded foe early, even leading briefly when Miriam Hibbard opened scoring for her team with a three-point play the old fashioned way — a bucket followed by a foul shot. The result was a 3-2 lead at the 7:01 mark of the first quarter. The Lady Tigers responded with a 7-0 run for a 9-3 lead.

Bekah Bell tacked on two free throws to close to 9-5 when the Lady Tigers used a layup to take an 11-5 lead. Andrea Taylor added a bucket and Hibbard a free throw to bring Excel to 11-8.

That was the last time the game was close, however, as Darlington went on a 10-1 run that helped it close the first quarter up, 21-9.

The Lady Tigers scored 24 points the second frame while allowing nine points by their opponents to take a 45-18 halftime lead.

Excel scored seven points but allowed 20 points in the third quarter and the Lady Eagles tallied 13 points while allowing none by their opponents in the final quarter to close the evening.

Eric Harris, head coach of the Lady Eagles, said Darlington once again has a good team and displayed its against Excel.

“My hat’s off to Darlington,” Harris said. “They are an established program and a solid team. They went inside, outside. They were raining some 3s on us and then they’d go inside on us and press. Their defense is what makes them so good.”

Although outmanned, Excel stayed focus throughout the evening as it had one player score in the double digits and three others in the vicinity.

Bell tallied a team-high 11 points for Excel while Lexie Robinson punched in nine points for the Lady Eagles. Taylor and Hibbard both contributed eight points.

Excel is now 5-13 overall and 3-4 in its region.

Harris said Darlington has a very successful program, and he added its a destination Excel hopes to reach.

“We’ll get there. We are slowly moving in the right direction.”