Calhoun’s defense sets tone in big win over Tigers
One of Calhoun boys basketball’s trademarks over the past few seasons as they have racked up five straight region titles is full-effort, stingy manto-man defense. After an up-and-down season so far in 2017-18, they looked like the Jackets of old in that regard on Tuesday night.
Calhoun put together a stellar four-quarter defensive effort and got some big contributions offensively from multiple guys to earn a 60-47 home victory on Tuesday against 6-AAA South subregion foe Adairsville. For the Jackets (5-12, 1-3) it was their first subregion win and something Calhoun coach Vince Layson said he hopes his team can build on in the final weeks of the regular season.
“We finally got a few days of practice in a row after playing so many games the last several weeks, and we’ve been focused on getting back to playing good manto-man defense,” said Layson. “We had to do some different thing early in the year defensively based on personnel and other factors, but we have gotten back to what we think we do best. And we excelled at that tonight. I’m hoping that this win is going to give us some confidence. We’ve played good basketball in spurts this year, but to come out and compete in all four quarters tonight like we did, I was really impressed. We got a lead and then we closed it out. This should spark us a little and hopefully give us what we need to finish strong.”
Calhoun built a 17-11 lead after the first quarter and maintained that six-point lead going to the half ahead 29-23. They continued the same pattern in the second half as they build a double-digit lead in the third and fourth quarters multiple times and answered every bucket the Tigers (11-10, 5-1 subregion) got. The Jackets didn’t allow Adairsville to make consecutive, unanswered buckets the entire second half.
Calhoun led 42-33 at the end of the third quarter, and Adairsville never got any closer than eight in the fourth.
Davis Allen led the scoring for Calhoun with a game-high 18 points, including going 4-of-6 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and snatching down some huge rebounds at big points throughout the game.
“(Davis) is one of those guys that you don’t have to worry about. He’s going to show up and give his best effort every single night,” said Layson. “He is a competitor, and that along with his talent is a very good combination. He did a great job on the boards for us tonight and made big free throws down the stretch.”
Tononcito Martha added 14 points for the Jackets, all coming in the second half, and Xaxton Goodson was the third scorer in double figures with 12 as he stepped in to fill the void left by regular starter Chase Goble, who didn’t play on Tuesday.
“Tononcito is our energy guy,” said Layson. “He’s not the most polished basketball player we have, but he gets to 50-50 balls and gets big rebounds to give us extra possessions. Our guards were able to handle Adairsville’s pressure, and Tononcito was the beneficiary of that, getting some easy lay-ups ahead of the defense.
“Xaxton stepped up big tonight with Chase being out. We didn’t know he would be the starter until just before the game. He’s come in every day at practice and earned his playing time, and he made the most of his opportunity tonight. He knocked down some shots and got some big rebounds.”
Bralin Barton added seven for the Jackets, and Porter Law scored six.
Calhoun did a solid job of limiting Adairsville’s leading scorers, Central wrestling teams were each in action this past weekend at separate tournaments, and both experienced individual success from multiple wrestlers.
Calhoun finished fifth in the team standings at the Cody Henderson and Hunter Hice. They held Henderson to 14 points and only four in the second half, and Hice scored 12 for the Tigers. Mason Boswell added 10, and Ethan Belcher scored seven.
The Jackets were back at home on Friday to host Murray County. (For details on that game, see Wednesday’s Calhoun Times.) They will be on the road on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against Haralson County.
In other recent prep basketball action:
Sonoraville boys 65, Haralson County 24
The Phoenix built a big lead in the first half and continued to add on for a dominant subregion road victory on Tuesday.
Sonoraville (18-3, 4-1 subregion) held the Rebels to single-digit points in all four quarters. They built a 36-10 lead at the half and then completely put the game away with a 23-7 advantage in the third quarter to force a six-minute fourth.
Chris Rush led the Phoenix in scoring with a game-high 15. Trent Daniel added 12, and Lucas Brooks contributed 11. Seth Harkins chipped in eight, and Wil Walraven scored seven.
Sonoraville was home on Friday to host Bremen. (For details on that game, see Wednesday’s Calhoun Times.) They host Adairsville on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in a huge subregion matchup as they try to avenge their only subregion loss so far this season after losing on the road to the Tigers on Jan. 12. Burnt Mountain Classic at Pickens High and had several wrestlers place in the top six in their weight classes with one individual champion. J.C. Fuller led the Jackets by earning first at 285.
Reece Poe (138) took third,
Haralson County girls 69, Sonoraville 51
The Lady Phoenix fell behind in the second quarter and could never fully recover as they lost a subregion game for the first time this season on the road on Tuesday.
Sonoraville (13-6, 4-1 subregion) trailed 18-16 after the first quarter, but Haralson County doubled them up in the second with a 16-8 advantage in the period to lead 34-24 at the half. The Rebelettes maintained and slowly built and other top six finishes were Jonathan Santana (fourth, 106), Owen Mendez (fourth, 132), Blake Bailey (fifth, 113), Jacob Dunlap (sixth, 152) and Sexton Golden (sixth, 170).
Gordon Central made the trip to the Murray Invitational their lead from there in the second half.
Alexa Geary and Grace Darnell shared the scoring lead for Sonoraville with 11 points apiece. Maliyah Parks added 10, and Abby Chambers scored eight.
Sonoraville returned home to host Bremen on Friday. ( For details on that game, see Wednesday’s Calhoun Times.) They will host GPS (Chattanooga) on Saturday at 2 p.m. and be back at home on Tuesday to host Adairsville at 6 p.m. at Murray County High, and they were led by Christian Davis who finished second at 152.
Ethan Mitchell placed third at 220, and Branson Towe (182) and Braxton Caldwell (145) each finished fourth.
Calhoun’s (from left) Sexton Golden, Jonathan Santana, Reece Poe, CJ Fuller, Owen Mendez, Blake Bailey and Jacob Dunlap pose for a pic last Saturday. Gordon Central’s (from left) Ethan Mitchell, Christian Davis, Branson Towe and Braxton Caldwell pose for a pic last Saturday.
Calhoun’s Xaxton Goodson rises for a shot between Adairsville’s Ethan Belcher (3) and Gaven Crunkelton.
Calhoun’s Davis Allen (right) goes up for a shot over Adairsville’s Cody Henderson in the first half.