From Staff Reports
Southeast Whitfield High School’s boys basketball team made sure its season would continue into a new week with a victory Saturday on the opening day of the Region 7-4A tournament at Cass High School in Cartersville.
The Raiders (7-19) built a double-digit lead in the first half against Ridgeland and won 79-61 to advance to a Monday matchup with Cass, Sub-region 7A-4A’s No. 4 seed.
Southeast, the No. 5 seed from Sub-region 7B-4A, held a 16-6 lead over the Panthers — 7B-4A’s No. 6 seed — when the first quarter ended and was up 36-28 at halftime. Southeast led 61-45 entering the fourth quarter.
“It was solid defense,” Southeast coach Jim Case said. “We kind of got in a nice flow and guys were passing the ball well and looking for each other.”
It was Southeast’s third win of the season against the Panthers.
Chaz Payne and Noah Ramsey each scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Ty Pendley added 15 points and Nick Stuard scored 12. Rhett Harper finished with seven points and eight assists.
• Gilmer boys 32, Dalton 25: Trying to rest his team’s legs in the Catamounts’ fourth game in five days, coach Mike Duffie called a four corners offense to begin the third quarter.
And Gilmer’s defense sat in a zone — and waited.
Trailing 27-22 to begin the second half, Dalton (18-6) held possession for all but one second of the eight-minute quarter and scored to cut the deficit to three points.
“We held the ball for seven minutes and 59 seconds and we scored right before the quarter (ended),” Duffie said.
Gilmer’s 3-pointer to begin the fourth quarter made it 30-24, and Dalton again held the ball in the four corners offense until three minutes remained in the game.
“They just stood in a zone and let us stand out there and hold it,” Duffie said. “If you’re within two possessions, that’s close enough with three minutes left.”
Dalton missed six free throws in the first half and didn’t score on five straight possessions in the final three minutes. With the region tournament approaching, this game was less about running up and down the court and more about escaping without injuries.
“We just knew we didn’t have the legs and the energy to do that all night,” Duffie said. “We saved our legs and no injuries and now we’re ready for Tuesday.”
Braxton Thomas scored 13 points for Dalton, which is Sub-region 7B-4A’s No. 2 seed and takes on 7A-4A No. 3 seed Pickens at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Region 7-4A tournament at Cass.
• Gilmer girls 63, Dalton 33: Lady Catamounts coach Lacie Coquerille played her starters in the first and third quarters, and “once it got physical, they didn’t play.
“We just have to keep Monday in mind,” she added, referring to the team’s matchup in the region tournament. The Lady Cats, Sub-region 7B-4A’s No. 4 seed, take on 7A-4A No. 5 seed Cedartown at 4 p.m.
Hannah Cox, Alex Brumbelow, Gabby Wright and Adrianna Bryant all scored six points for Dalton (10-14), which trailed 39-20 at halftime.
• Murray County boys 47, Pepperell 45: Cesar Romero sank a pair of free throws after a technical foul to tie the game in the final minute and then made a shot in the paint with 11 seconds remaining to give the Indians a Region 7-2A win in their final game of the regular season.
Romero — one of three Indians honored on senior day — finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. Fellow senior Nick Stiles had 12 points on four 3-pointers, and senior Jagger Childers had eight rebounds and drew a pair of charges late in the game.
“I was real proud of our defensive effort,” Murray County coach Greg Linder said.
The Indians (4-21, 4-12) will face Morris Innovative in the first round of the region tournament at 4 p.m. Monday at Calhoun High School.
• Pepperell girls 68, Murray County 50: The Lady Indians (8-17, 5-9) led 30-29 at halftime, but Pepperell outscored Murray County 22-9 in the third quarter to take control of the game.
“We played great defense in the first half, but they came out in the second half and turned it on,” Murray County coach Michael Hill said.
Senior Caitlyn Sims finished with 16 points to lead the Lady Indians, while Alex Johnson added 10. Murray County also honored seniors Holli Stanfield and McKenzie Carroll.
The Lady Indians take on Coosa at 7 p.m. Monday in the Region 7-2A tournament at Calhoun.
• Adairsville boys 58, Coahulla Creek 40: Dee McCord scored 15 points for the Colts (9-16, 4-10) as they lost on the road to close the regular season.
• Coahulla Creek’s girls lost, but coach Ryan Long didn’t know the final score or have additional information about the game.
The Lady Colts finished the regular season 7-18 overall and 4-10 in Region 5-3A.
• Dalton JV boys 71, Gilmer 42: Christian Bautista led the Catamounts (13-0) with 15 points, while Nick Hurt added 12 and Chase White tallied 10.