From Staff Reports
Three local teams entered the fray of tournament basketball Thursday at LaFayette High School’s Medi-Thrift Pharmacy Holiday Classic.
Only one was able to shake off the slumber of a four-day break and find its winning form.
Dalton High School’s girls beat Chattooga 66-48 to remain in the championship bracket, while the boys teams from Dalton and North Murray both dropped into the consolation bracket.
The Lady Catamounts (5-3) were tied at 14 after the opening period before taking command in the second quarter, where they outscored the Lady Indians 21-3. The score was 52-30 entering the final period.
“We got out of our four-day Christmas funk after the first quarter,” Lady Cats coach Lacie Coquerille said, “and started to play with a little more defensive pressure and started to push the ball up the floor a little more.”
Sophomore point guard Taitlyn Chesser led the Lady Cats with 14 points, while freshman guard Bowen Land chipped in a dozen points and junior post Hannah Cox finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Coquerille said during holiday tournament action — the Lady Cats finished third this past weekend at North Murray’s Alfa Insurance Mistletoe Madness — she wants to see “people who could play hard and play defense full court.”
Younger players — like Land and freshman Gabby Wright, who has made strong defensive contributions — have pleased Coquerille in filling the void with others missing due to illness or injury.
Dalton will play in the championship semifinals at 7 tonight against the winner of Thursday’s first-round matchup between Coosa and LaFayette. The results of that game were not known at The Daily Citizen’s deadline.
• Ridgeland girls 50, North Murray 45: Grace Phillips had 13 points and Kara Deal added nine for the Lady Mountaineers (4-7), who were tied at 12 after the first quarter.
“They had one girl get hot on us, but I was disappointed in my kids’ defensive effort,” Lady Mountaineers coach Keith Robinette said. “They didn’t do anything we didn’t talk about in our pregame scouting report.
“Defensively, we’ve just got to get better. I’m not taking anything away from (Ridgeland) — they’re 10-2 for a reason — but this is a game I thought we should have brought better effort to the table.”
The Lady Mountaineers, who took second at their home tournament this past weekend, take on Ringgold at 10 a.m.
• Trion boys 62, Dalton 48: The Cats (4-4), who trailed 25-18 at halftime, finished the game with a shooting percentage of 35 from the floor.
Mark Sims had nine points to lead Dalton, while Jeffrey Brown and Chris Childs each added eight. Emier Bowman, typically the Cats’ leading scorer in the early season, had just four points as he was limited by foul trouble.
“We just didn’t play well coming off the holiday,” Cats coach Mike Duffie said.
The Cats take on Coosa at 11:30 a.m. today.
• Pickens girls 41, Murray County 38: The Lady Indians (3-8) trailed 7-5, 19-18 and 29-25 at the quarter breaks as they fell in the opening round at the Pickens Holiday Classic.
Kaitlin Sims led Murray County with 14 points, while McKenzie Carroll and Alex Johnson each added six.
Murray County faces Eagle’s Landing Christian at 3 p.m. today.
• Girls Preparatory School (Chattanooga) JV 41, Christian Heritage 38: Ashlyn Clements led the way with 14 points for the Lady Lions (6-3) in the loss, while Julia McDonald had 10 points and Mikayla Russell finished with 10 rebounds.