Dalton High School’s boys basketball team took away all of the suspense on the court Friday night, earning a share of the Sub-region 7B-4A title with a 92-65 win over Ridgeland in a game that wasn’t close nearly from the opening tip.
The real drama came in the back rooms of the Cats Den.
Northwest Whitfield won a post-game coin toss in Dalton coach Mike Duffie’s office to claim the No. 1 seed from the sub-region for the Region 7-4A tournament at Cass High School. Dalton and Northwest each finished the sub-region schedule with 8-2 records and split in their two meetings against each other, so a coin flip (actually a metal washer painted red on one side and blue on the other) was needed to determine seeding. Dalton will be the No. 2 seed for the boys tournament.
The Dalton girls are the No. 4 seed from 7B and will play Monday against Cedartown, the No. 5 seed from 7A, at 4 p.m. The Lady Catamounts lost to Ridgeland 51-42, but since the Lady Panthers had lost to LaFayette the night before, Dalton was locked into the No. 4 spot in the standings.
Both Dalton teams are scheduled to play today in the regular-season finale at Gilmer.
“It didn’t matter if you are No. 1 or No. 2, you still have to win a game to get into the state tournament,” Dalton coach Mike Duffie said. “We had to flip that coin because we didn’t take care of our business.”
Dalton will take on Pickens, the No. 3 seed from 7A, Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Northwest will play on Wednesday at 5:30 against an opponent to be determined.
Dalton (17-6, 8-2 in the sub-region) had a chance to claim the top seed outright with a win at Northwest on Thursday night. The Bruins won 58-55. Northwest coach Ryan Richards was in Jasper to watch Pickens play River Ridge on Friday night and said while he was happy to win the toss, there are some disadvantages.
“You get an extra day of rest, but the downside is that you don’t know who you are playing,” Richards said. “You only get one day to prepare for who you are playing, but we were happy to win the coin toss and get the No. 1 seed. It keeps River Ridge (the 7A No. 1 seed) on the other side of the bracket.”
Both coaches had their eye on River Ridge.
“All this means is that we are in the River Ridge part of the bracket rather than in the Gilmer (the 7A No. 2) side,” Duffie said. “They are both good teams and the top four from either side are all tough. You know how tournaments are and one bad night is all it takes to end your season.”
There was nothing bad about Dalton’s night on the floor against the Panthers. Chris Childs, one of six players honored on senior night for the Cats, had 15 points in the first half as Dalton ran out to an easy 50-28 lead at the end of the first half. Childs was one of four Cats in double digits with 21 points. Another senior, Jeffrey Brown, had 12. Braxton Thomas and Emier Bowman scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Other seniors honored for Dalton were Nathan Bryant, Tristen Darville, Thomas Delay and Lyle Durham.
• Ridgeland girls 51, Dalton 42: The Dalton girls went into Friday night’s game with nothing to play for other than pride. They were also playing their third game in four days.
The Lady Cats (10-13, 3-7) led through most of the first three quarters before Ridgeland post Tiffany Wimpey started dominating in the paint. She scored the last two buckets of the third to give Ridgeland a 33-32 lead, and the Lady Panthers didn’t trail the rest of the game. Wimpey had just five points in the first half, but she finished with 19.
“From the get-go you could tell that both teams were tired,” Dalton coach Lacie Coquerille said. “I would like to say we ran out of steam, but we had three straight turnovers and they scored off of all of those. Then we had three open layups and couldn’t hit those when the game was still a six-point game.”
Junior forward Hannah Cox led Dalton with 16 points and was the lone Lady Cat in double figures. Seniors Emily Sherrill and Destinee Woods were honored during the senior night festivities.