One quarter was the simple difference between the high school girls basketball teams of Christian Heritage and Dalton.
In Saturday’s second quarter, the Lady Catamounts were a lot better than the Lady Lions.
Visiting Dalton left with a 53-40 victory at Christian Heritage’s gymnasium in the season opener for both teams. The schools’ boys teams did not play.
Tied 7-7 late in the first quarter, Dalton finished the opening period with six straight points. Lady Cats guard Sarah Hartshorn scored four and post Hannah Cox grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a layup for the 13-7 lead that Dalton held entering the second quarter. From there, the Lady Cats only lengthened the advantage.
Dalton’s press forced double-digit turnovers in the quarter and outscored Christian Heritage 22-7. The Lady Cats led 35-14 at halftime.
“I don’t know what happened to us in the second quarter,” Christian Heritage coach Heather Lowery said. “We broke their press really well at the beginning and just sort of fell apart.”
Both coaches emphasized how much work is ahead of their teams before entering sub-region play later this season. Christian Heritage competes in Sub-region 6A-A and Dalton is in Sub-region 7B-4A.
The Lady Lions finished 5-20 last season, the first competing in the Georgia High School Association after a successful five-year run in Georgia Independent School Association play. Christian Heritage advanced to the semifinals three times and the championship once in the GISA’s Class 2A.
Dalton reached the Class 4A state playoffs last year after missing the cut in the 2011-2012 season, one year following an appearance and loss in the state championship. While the Lady Lions only lost one starter last season and returned leading scorer Sarah Massengale, the Lady Cats graduated six seniors and lost four starters.
“It showed us we have a lot to work on,” said Dalton coach Lacie Coquerille, who is in her first season as the program’s coach after former coach Jeff McKinney was named the school’s athletic director. “We got into game situations and didn’t do all the things we want to do right. ... I don’t know how many short layups we missed. We (didn’t shoot well) on free throws. On defense, we watched a lot. We played really scared, like we didn’t have a lot of experience.”
Christian Heritage cut the Dalton lead to 38-21 entering the final period and the Lady Lions put together a run that scared their opponents. Ashlyn Clements made back-to-back layups and Drew Tipton grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a layup, making the score 40-30 with 5:35 remaining. After Dalton stretched its lead to 45-30, Christian Heritage scored six straight points, the last on a steal and layup from Massengale.
“In the second half, we came out and did everything we wanted to,” Lowery said.
However, Taitlyn Chesser hit her second 3-pointer, putting the Lady Cats ahead 48-36 and with 2:58 remaining.
“I was happy we were able to finish the game,” Coquerille said.
Hartshorn finished with 25 points, while Cox had with 10 points and 14 rebounds and Chesser added 11 points. Bowen Land chipped in nine points, six rebounds and two steals.
For Christian Heritage, Massengale led with 21 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and four blocks. Freshman guard Pressley Poag scored six points, grabbed four rebounds and added three steals.
• Cricket Wyatt scored 15 points and pulled down six rebounds as the Lady Raiders (1-1) evened their record.
Southeast led throughout, turning a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter into a 10-point advantage going into halftime. Wendy Perez scored nine points and had 11 rebounds for the Lady Raiders.
• Southeast boys 64, LFO 58: Ty Pendley and Rhett Harper each scored 19 points to lead the Raiders (1-1). Chaz Payne added 16 points.
LFO led 17-16 after the first quarter, but Southeast led 36-35 at halftime and 54-45 entering the final period.
• Northwest Whitfield girls 73, Model 39: Mallory Souther scored 23 points to lead the Lady Bruins in their season opener at the Rome High School Thanksgiving Day Classic.
Macy Weeks scored 14 points, Halle Ford had eight assists and six steals and Souther had six steals and five rebounds. Northwest led 16-8 through the opening quarter, 30-22 at halftime and 48-32 entering the final period.
Northwest continues play in the tournament on Monday.
• Southeast JV boys 37, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 36: Drake Amos hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with around 30 seconds left to help the Raiders win the championship of their JV tournament. Keaton McCutchen led Southeast (2-0) with eight points.
• Southeast freshman girls 53, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe 25: Maddie Pearson led all scorers with 15 points, and Jennifer Flores added 13 to pace the Lady Raiders.
• Northwest got first-place finishes from Blake Hayes at 120 pounds and Austin Taylor at 170 to finish second overall in the 17-team Tri-State Classic at Ringgold.
LaFayette won the overall title with 203.5 points, and the Bruins finished with 145.5.
Bryan Gembe (113) and Alex Reynolds each finished third, while Tommy Peters (132), Dalton Ayers (160) and Gordon Pittman (182) each were fourth.
“We are getting there,” Northwest coach Allen Tucker said. “We have five freshmen in the lineup, and we will take our lumps until we get everyone where they are supposed to be and keep working.”
LaBron Kendrick (145) and Austin Coker (160) each finished third to lead Coahulla Creek to a sixth-place finish in the tournament. Zion Hester (195) finished fourth for the Colts.
Dalton finished fifth in the tournament and the Catamounts were led by Jake Reeves (120) finishing second in his first high school wrestling tournament. Matt Tankersley (106), Agustine Adame (113) and Brian Nunez (138) each finished third.
Murray County finished seventh with Domingo Bautista taking first at 113. Tielor Johnson (145) and Seth Gilbert (285) each finished fourth.
North Murray finished 16th and was led by Matt Tellum (132) placing third and Alex Gambino (120) taking fourth.
n Southeast Whitfield competed at the River Ridge Duals and finished with two wins in five matchups.
The Raiders beat won 39-36 against Pepperell, lost 48-36 to Dawson County, lost 63-16 to Lumpkin County, lost 49-30 to North Paulding and won 64-12 versus Chapel Hill.
Three Southeast wrestlers went undefeated. Chris Rosas (120) finished 5-0, two of the wins coming by pins. Omar Ruiz (126) finished 5-0 with two pins. Austin Allen (182) finished 5-0 with four pins.