Lady Jack­ets win nail-biter, Jack­ets cruise vs. Mur­ray

Calhoun Times - - Sports Saturday - By Tyler Ser­ritt TSer­[email protected]­

Cal­houn’s girls and boys col­lect two re­gion wins at home, while Gor­don Cen­tral also notches an­other im­pres­sive victory on Tues­day.

Field­ing a some­what young and ex­pe­ri­ence team head­ing into this sea­son, Cal­houn head coach Kayla Ral­ston’s Lady Jack­ets have strug­gled at times to gen­er­ate con­sis­tency on both sides of the court. Ral­ston has re­mained pos­i­tive, prompt­ing the squad to show in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ment from game to game.

That im­prove­ment is start­ing to show, par­tic­u­larly in Tues­day’s 60-58 victory over the Mur­ray County Lady In­di­ans (8-11, 5-5 in Re­gion 6-AAA).

Cal­houn (3-10, 2-8 in Re­gion 6-AAA) was sparked by one of its fastest of­fen­sive starts of the sea­son, jump­ing out to a 12-6 run to open the first quar­ter due to six early points from Lyndi Rae Davis. The Lady Jack­ets also ben­e­fited from five first-quar­ter points from Ash­lyn Br­zo­zoski and four firstquar­ter points from Erin Barnes, hold­ing off the Lady In­di­ans de­spite its ac­cu­rate three-point shoot­ing and main­tain­ing a 20-17 lead af­ter the end of the ini­tial pe­riod. Br­zo­zoski led the Lady Jack­ets in scor­ing with 13 points, while Barnes and Davis both fin­ished the night with eight points each.

“Ash­lyn (Br­zo­zoski) has been step­ping up for us all year,” Ral­ston said. “She has taken the ex­pe­ri­ence she gained as a fresh­man and just keeps get­ting bet­ter ev­ery game. Her con­fi­dence just keeps grow­ing.”

Malysha Win­ston did the heavy lift­ing for Cal­houn in the sec­ond, scor­ing all six points the team put on the board in the quar­ter. While the scor­ing for the Lady Jack­ets dried up, Mur­ray County only warmed up from the floor and took a 32-26 ad­van­tage into the locker rooms. Win­ston ac­cu­mu­lated 12 points on the evening.

“Malysha (Win­ston) keeps prov­ing that she is a beast and a great ath­lete,” Ral­ston said. “When she gets go­ing in the post she is nearly un­stop­pable. So I am proud of the way she con­tin­ues to get bet­ter.”

The Lady Jack­ets clamped down de­fen­sively and re­grouped in the third quar­ter.

Cal­houn was able to re-take the lead and pro­duce an of­fen­sive surge thanks to a seven-point pe­riod from Br­zo­zoski, and a pair of three-point­ers from Emily Sor­row and Rai­ley Gree­son, which al­lowed Cal­houn to take a two-point lead into the fi­nal eight min­utes. Br­zo­zoski fin­ished with 13 points, while Gree­son added 10 to­tal.

The fi­nal quar­ter was a wild one, with the lead swap­ping hands mul­ti­ple times, and each team piec­ing to­gether key runs late. It was then that the Lady Jack­ets were pro­pelled by a pair of timely shots.

With less than a minute left on the clock, and down two points, Gree­son lev­eled the score with a per­fect run­ner in the lane. On the next pos­ses­sion, Barnes banked in a clutch layup to se­cure the victory.

“Both Rai­ley (Gree­son) and Erin (Barnes) work so hard, so I was very ex­cited for them to come through for us there at the end,” Ral­ston said. “Both of those play­ers, and the rest of our girls, de­serve to win, and they went out there tonight and earned it.”

The Lady In­di­ans had a qual­ity look on a three-pointer to win in the fi­nal sec­onds, but it rimmed out.

“These girls got af­ter it, and game to game I think we are fi­nally start­ing to show im­prove­ment,” Ral­ston said. “I think the break af­ter the Cartersville hurt us a lit­tle, but I think we are get­ting back in the swing of things. Hats off to Mur­ray County be­cause they are a scrappy team, but we fought hard and to the end.”

Mur­ray County boys 55,

Cal­houn boys 67

The Cal­houn Yel­low Jack­ets uti­lized a dy­namic per­for­mance on both ends of the court to coast past a feisty Mur­ray County unit 67-55 on Tues­day at The Hive.

Cal­houn( 8- 7, 6- 4 in Re­gion 6-AAA) was pro­pelled pri­mar­ily by the sharp­shoot­ing of Gage Maf­fe­tone, who bat­tled what ap­peared to be an early ankle in­jury to rack up 15 points, knock­ing down a trio of three-point­ers. Other top con­trib­u­tors for the Jack­ets in­cluded Jake Prather, who dom­i­nated down low while notch­ing 12 points, Caleb Boone, who pro­vided a spark off the bench with nine points, Xax­ton Good­son, who net­ted eight points and Bralin Barton, who chipped in seven points.

“Gage (Maf­fe­tone) has been su­per solid for us all us this year, lead­ing the team not only tonight, but all sea­son,” Cal­houn head coach Vince Layson said. “I talked to him be­fore the game, and I said ‘Look, we’ll be leaning on you night-in and night-out, and he was again tonight. And when you have a guy like Jake (Prather) who is able to score and con­trol the glass, it makes for a pretty good com­bi­na­tion.”

This one had all the mak­ings of a back-and-forth con­test early, with the Jack­ets con­trol­ling the tempo on the break and the In­di­ans (9-10, 4-6 in Re­gion 6-AAA) ral­ly­ing back with the three-ball. De­spite jump­ing out to an early lead, Cal­houn only main­tained a 16-11 ad­van­tage af­ter one quar­ter of play.

How­ever, the Jack­ets took ad­van­tage of its de­fen­sive pres­sure in the sec­ond quar­ter, go­ing on a swift 7-0 run to snag a 30-22 lead that blos­somed into a 35-22 lead at the break.

By the end of the third quar­ter, the Jack­ets’ lead had grown to its largest at that point, as the mar­gin grew to 52-38. Cal­houn’s lead grew to 14 mid­way through the fourth quar­ter, as all that was left to do was to drain the clock and en­dure Mur­ray County’s fi­nal rally.

“I think we just got back to hus­tle plays tonight, and there are a lot of 50/50 balls that we haven’t been get­ting af­ter this year,” Layson said. “We got a cou­ple buck­ets in tran­si­tion, and we kind of played to our strength. I think our whole bench came in and con­trib­uted. A win is a win, and those haven’t been easy to come by this year. The re­gion is wide open, es­pe­cially that sec­ond seed, and that’s what we have set our goal on right now.”

Both Cal­houn squads will square off against crosstown ri­val Sono­rav­ille on Fri­day, with the girls tip­ping off at 6 p.m. and the boys tak­ing the court at 7:30 p.m.

Dade County boys 62, Gor­don Cen­tral boys 77

The Gor­don Cen­tral boys con­tin­ued its re­cent streak of suc­cess on Tues­day, de­feat­ing the Dade County Wolver­ines 77-62 and col­lect­ing an­other re­gion win in the process.

The Warriors (3-14, 1-5 in Re­gion 7-AA) were scorch­ing from the field out of the gate, cob­bling to­gether 21 points while hold­ing the Wolver­ines to 12. Gor­don Cen­tral’s de­fense con­tin­ued to be sti­fling into the sec­ond quar­ter, as the Warriors held Dade County to just nine points in the quar­ter.

Gor­don Cen­tral was ac­tu­ally out­paced in the scor­ing col­umn in the third quar­ter, per­mit­ting 23 points, while only scor­ing 20. How­ever, the Warriors out fort a 23-point quar­ter of its own in the fi­nal pe­riod to lock in the win.

Lead­ing the way for the Warriors was Daw­son Lackey, who fin­ished with 18 points. Also put­ting to­gether stel­lar per­for­mances was Chris­tian Marycz, who chipped in 14 points, Kade Stew­ard, who added 13 points, Gabe Ross, who pitched in 12 points and Dal­ton Free­man, who com­piled eight points.

/ Tim God­bee

Cal­houn’s Rai­ley Gree­son shoots a floater over a Mur­ray County de­fender. Gree­son was in­stru­men­tal in the team’s home re­gion win over the Lady In­di­ans on Tues­day.

/ Tim God­bee

Jack­ets point guard Gage Maf­fe­tone pre­pares to launch a shot against Mur­ray County. Maf­fe­tone led the team in scor­ing in the home re­gion win.

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