February 9, 2013

Prep roundup: North Murray nipped by the ’Canes

For a second consecutive game, North Murray High School’s boys basketball team lost in the closing seconds.

Cartersville’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Purple Hurricanes a 63-60 win in Chatsworth to finish the regular season and leave the Mountaineers with only the Region 5-3A tournament for a chance to get payback.

North Murray (19-6, 10-4) led 12-10 after the opening quarter and 29-26 at halftime. The Mountain-eers held a three-point cushion, 51-48, entering the final period, but they only scored nine points the rest of the game.

“We played well,” North Murray coach Tim Ellis said. “They just played a little better than us at times. I’m proud of the effort our guys put forth.”

The loss comes three days after North Murray fell 63-62 at home to Gordon Central, which finished second in the region.

Cartersville finished first and went undefeated. The Mountaineers hold the tournament’s No. 3 seed and will play their first-round matchup at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

“I don’t look at any of that like a moral victory,” Ellis said. “I look at it like, ‘Hey, we have to get over the hump.’ And we will.”

Austen Horn’s 19 points led North Murray, while Brady Swilling tallied 14 points and Zach Sanford added 12. Sanford’s 3-pointer in the last minute tied the game at 60.

Zach Vess, the team’s leading scorer, was limited to just seven points.

“He played his (heart) out,” Ellis said. “He rebounded well.”

Cartersville girls 54, North Murray 52: The Lady Mountaineers (15-10, 8-6 Region 5-3A) had a chance to tie or take the lead in the final moments, but a turnover gave the Lady Purple Hurricanes the ball back with around five seconds left. Cartersville was able to run out the clock to notch a regular-season sweep of North Murray.

“Any close games like that you start thinking about four or five plays,” Lady Mountaineers coach Keith Robinette said.

The teams were tied at 13 after one quarter, and North Murray’s Megan Pittman hit a 3-pointer to give her team a 20-13 lead halfway through the second quarter. The Lady Mountaineers led 25-22 at halftime and 37-36 entering the final period.

Abigail Bradley scored 16 for North Murray, while Grace Phillips added 13.

“I’m really proud of the way these two girls played,” Robinette said.

North Murray claims the No. 4 seed for next week’s region tournament, which will be at Sonoraville. It is not known who North Murray will face in the first round at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Gordon Central girls 41, Coahulla Creek 33: Macey Fossett had 10 points and Nikki Ross added nine points and 15 rebounds, but the Lady Colts (7-18, 4-10 Region 5-3A) could not hold on for a win.

Coahulla Creek led 10-6 after the first quarter, trailed 23-17 at halftime and reclaimed a 30-27 lead entering the final period. However, the Lady Colts scored just three points in the final eight minutes, and Gordon Central scored 14.

“It was a defensive battle,” Coahulla Creek coach Ryan Long said. “I was very proud of our defense. I think we made some big stops and rebounded the ball well at times. We’ve just got to be more consistent all the way through the games. Consistency at times was lacking but then it didn’t look all so great at other times as well.”

The Lady Colts can finish anywhere from fifth to seventh in the league standings, which will be decided on Sunday at the region meeting.

Model boys 62, Murray County 50: The two teams were tied after each of the first two quarters — 13-13 after the first and 30-30 at halftime. The Indians (13-12, 8-6 Region 7-2A) led 40-39 entering the final period, but the Blue Devils notched 23 points to pull away.

“I felt like we did a good job,” Murray County coach Greg Linder said. “You have to give them credit; they took it right to us on the inside.

“It got to be an eight- or nine-point game and we came out with a press, and they handled it and made their free throws down the stretch.”

Jacob Sturgill scored 17 points for the Indians, and Brady Todd added 16.

Linder said the Indians can finish anywhere from third to fifth for the region tournament, which starts next week.

Model girls 66, Murray County 34: The Lady Indians (8-17, 5-9 Region 7-2A) found themselves down 35-14 at the end of the first half and could never recover in the loss on the road to the Lady Blue Devils.

Caitlyn Sims scored eight points to lead Murray County in the regular-season finale. The Lady Indians finished in a tie for fifth place in the region standings and lost a coin flip and will be the No. 6 seed in the region tournament which begins Tuesday in Rome at Georgia High-lands. Murray County will play No. 7 seed Coosa at 7 p.m.

Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy girls 73, Christian Heritage 23: Sarah Massengale finished with 10 points and nine rebounds to lead the Lady Lions (5-20, 2-10 Sub-region 6A-A) in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Christian Heritage finished in a three-way tie for their sub-region’s No. 5 seed, and the tiebreaker will be a coin flip on Sunday at the region meeting. Region tournament first-round action will be Monday at The Walker School in Marietta. The remainder of the tournament will be played at Mt. Paran Academy, also in Marietta.

Southwest Atlanta Christian boys 55, Christian Heritage 45: Will Patterson led the way for the Lions (8-13, 3-9 Sub-region 6A-A), who trailed the entire game and couldn’t close the gap with SACA.

Cameron Locke added 15 points for Christian Heritage, while Michael McKinney had 10 points.

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