Calhoun Times

Jackets now looking at Region 7 schedule

- By Mike Tenney MTenney@CalhounTim­

Well one thing seems for sure.

Fans of 5A Region 7 girls basketball may have already gotten a preview of the two best teams in the league when Calhoun faced off against Cass Wednesday afternoon in the second round of the Tiger Christmas Classic tournament in Adairsvill­e.

Presently those two teams have the best records in 5A Region 7 and they put on a quite a show in Bartow County Wednesday night in a fight to get to the championsh­ip game of the Tiger tournament with Cass coming out on top 56-53 in a hardfought game that wasn’t decided until the final minutes.

While the loss was a tough one for the Yellow Jackets, it wasn’t without its bright spots as junior guard Britiya Curtis reached a personal milestone when she scored her 1,000th high school point, putting the talented young guard among the top scorers in the history of the Calhoun program.

The win by Cass also moved them to put 2-0 in the tournament and advanced them into the championsh­ip game Thursday night.

Going into the tournament, Calhoun girls basketball coach Jaime Echols said he wanted to see how his young team looked in the tournament, knowing they were facing possible perennial playoff powers right off the bat like Morgan County and Cass and it appears they did just fine because they belted MC, 49-33, in the first round at Adairsvill­e before they dropped the tough and tight one to Cass.

The Lady Colonels came into the matchup between Region rivals with an 11game win streak and with the win, they improved to an outstandin­g 13-1 on the year. Calhoun meanwhile fell to 9-3 with the setback and those two records are the best of the six teams in Region 7.

momentum going a little more than 24 hours later on Wednesday, when they fell to Chattooga, 60-53, to end their hopes of winning the tournament. (Chattooga faced the host school Adairsvill­e in the championsh­ip game Thursday night after Adairsvill­e knocked off Cartersvil­le on Wednesday).

The Jackets came out Tuesday on first, scoring 26 points in the first quarter and never looked back against an Excel Christian team that brought a 7-3 into the game.

For a while, it looked like the Jackets might hit the century mark scoring-wise against the Eagles as they

just kept churning out the points, but head coach Vince Layson played everyone on the roster a lot of minutes as the Yellow Jackets seized control early and were never threatened.

After taking that big lead, the Yellow Jackets topped ECA, 19-16, in the second quarter to hold a 47-26 lead at halftime. They proceeded to have one of their best quarters of the season in the third, making shots from all over the floor while holding Excel Christian to just three baskets, outscoring them 28-9 in the third to hold a commanding 75-34 lead heading into the fourth.

Going with the reserves the entire fourth quarter because they had such a big lead and they were playing again the next day, the Yellow Jackets were outscored 18-16 in the final period but

never saw their lead shrink under 35 points.

The high scoring was also aided by the balance the Yellow Jackets had with four players reaching double figures while one more had nine.

Senior forward Peyton Law continued to live up to the Preseason All-State billing he achieved, finishing with a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Brooks Crawford added a season-high 17 points and senior guard Branden Gray and senior forward Jaylan Harris each tossed in 10 as those four guys combined for 57 points.

Freshman forward Emaree Winston also added nine as those five guys all shot better than 50 percent individual­ly from the floor.

The win was Calhoun’s second straight and put them in the second round against

Chattooga, which has been playing good basketball by winning eight of its first 12 games with one of those losses a 66-63 setback to the Yellow Jackets back on the final day of November.

The second game between the teams was a lot like the first game with nothing decided until the final minutes.

The Indians, who had won their opening-round game, came out on first this time, scoring 20 points in the first quarter to take a 20-8 lead over the Yellow Jackets, who struggled with their shooting early-on.

But they picked up the pace at both ends of the floor in the second quarter, outscoring the Tribe, 18-8, in the second quarter to trail just 28-26 at halftime.

Both teams had a dozen points in the third as the score remained close and the

2A Region 7 team held a 4038 lead to start the fourth.

In the final eight minutes, the Indians best Calhoun 20-15 to collect the win and move into Thursday night’s main event.

Law and Harris remained consistent in the scoring department with Law leading the way for the fifth consecutiv­e game as he scored 20 to lead his team and Harris was right behind him with 17 more.

Winston finished the night with eight points.

The loss dropped Calhoun to 5-4 heading into their next game against Chattooga, which was to close out the non-region part of their schedule as after Tuesday, the Jackets are too be off until Tuesday, Jan. 11 when they open the Region 7 schedule at home against Hiram.

 ?? Tim Godbee ?? Calhoun High School freshman guard Kat Atha, shown here releasing a shot in a crowd, has done well in her rookie year with the Lady Jackets.
Tim Godbee Calhoun High School freshman guard Kat Atha, shown here releasing a shot in a crowd, has done well in her rookie year with the Lady Jackets.

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