February 14, 2014

State trip on line for Coahulla Creek, North Murray boys

The Coahulla Creek High School boys basketball team reached new heights on Friday night.

Today, they will try to reach a little higher.

The Colts dominated Sonoraville from the start of their game at Cartersville High School in the Region 5-3A tournament and won the program’s first ever region playoff game, 61-27. While the boys will play on, the Coahulla Creek girls saw their season end in a 37-34 loss to Ringgold.

North Murray’s boys won 58-41 against Gordon Central to continue their season and set up an 8:30 p.m. matchup against Adairsville. The Colts, the sixth seed in the eight-team tournament, advance to play third-seeded Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe today at 5:30 p.m. The winner of today’s games will secure a berth into the Class 3A state tournament.

“We know it is our first-ever tournament win, but we let them be excited for about 30 seconds,” Coahulla Creek coach Matthew Queener said. “We said it was great to win a region tournament game and is a huge step in the right direction, but we have more business to take care of. We preached to enjoy it, but get focused for tomorrow.”

The Colts and Sonoraville had split in their two meetings in the regular season, and Queener said the Phoenix hit 12 3-pointers in their earlier win. He was determined that would not happen again with the season on the line.

“We knew what to expect and were ready to contest those shots,” Queener said.

“We got our hands in their face, and if their shots were going to go down, we were going to make them earn it. Offensively, we showed patience and ran our offense and hit the shots when we had them.”

The Colts bolted out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter and outscored Sonoraville 23-4 in the second for a 40-10 halftime lead.

“I don’t know what else to say except that they played together and it was just a great effort,” Queener said. “Hopefully we can come out with that same level of intensity against LFO. We split with them as well during the regular season, and hopefully we can go out and give them a good game.”

Tyler Phillips led the Colts in scoring with 17 points, and Dee McCord added 15 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Andrew Fisher also had seven rebounds as Coahulla Creek held a 30-17 rebound advantage.

North Murray boys 58, Gordon Central 41: Payton Swilling led the fifth-seeded Mountaineers (16-10) with 11 points, while Jordan Couch, Hinton McConkey and Nathan Spivey each added eight.

North Murray led 33-14 at halftime in a game coach Tim Ellis called “sloppy” after a week without games or practices due to the winter storm that covered northwest Georgia through Thursday.

He hopes the sloppiness was a one-game ordeal.

“Adairsville will be tough to deal with,” he said. “They’re tough and physical in the post and have a good little guard.”

Ringgold girls 37, Coahulla Creek 34: Defense wasn’t the problem for the Lady Colts, but scoring was.

Bethany Goodwin scored 11 points, but she was the only player in double figures. Nikki Ross and Sydney Storey each had eight points and the Lady Colts (7-21) were held to single-digit scoring in every quarter except the fourth.

“Our defense was definitely executed very well,” Coahulla Creek coach Ryan Long said. “Offensively, we just couldn’t score more than they did. Making shots was a struggle for us all year long. We execute well, but at the end of the day, you have to put the ball in the basket.”

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