The Standard Journal

Model wins third straight 7-AA title

- RN-T Sports Writer

The Indians certainly felt ready in the first quarter, scoring 18 of the first 20 points of the game and leading 18- 4 after one. It was the same quick pace that led to a multitude of blowouts in region play.

Whether it was the Foster twins, Shropshire or another player, Chattooga was always looking for a passing lane to jump into. When they got a turnover, the Indians used their speed to race past Rockmart for an easy bucket.

And with every early basket, the crowd only became louder. It was no surprise to Groce or his players, who have gotten similar love all season.

“It is always fun to play at home, because this crowd is electrifyi­ng,” Isaiah said. “We always know they got our backs, no matter who we play. No matter what the game is this crowd is going to have our backs.”

With the No. 1 seed in the region, Chattooga hosts Temple next week, a t eam t hat f i nished fourth in Region 5- AA this week. Rockmart will host Spencer, which fin- ished third in that region.

No matter who they play from here on, the Indians will remain focused.

“We have to leave it all out there every night,” Groce said. “Don’t want any regret at this point, so we are giving it our all just like we did tonight.”

In t he s emifinals, Rockmart relied on 11 3-pointers and some composed defense to pull away from Dade County and win its Region 7-AA semifinals game 60-50 on Friday in Summervill­e. The win put the Yellow Jackets in tonight’s title game against Chattooga and ensured them a home playoff game.

“I’ve told the boys before that if we just do our jobs, especially on the defensive side of the floor, good things are going to happen,” Rockmart coach Kyle Stephens said. “This Dade team averages 70 points a game and scored 50 tonight, so I think we did a pretty good job.”

Forward Bronson Garner led Rockmart (16-9) with 24 points, while Morgan Sims added 18 points and Avery Allen contribute­d 11. Each of them made at l east t hree 3-pointers as the Yellow Jackets spread out the floor for most of the night.

For two quarters, the Armuchee Lady Indians let the two-time defending Region 7-AA champions know it wasn’t going down easily. Then, the Model Lady Blue Devils let the entire gym know the region is still theirs.

After trading punches with Armuchee for most of the first half, Model went on a 33-6 run over the second and third quarter and beat the Lady Indians 73-48, in the Region 7-AA Championsh­ip game Saturday night in Summervill­e.

It is Model’s third consecutiv­e region title, and it completes a perfect season in region play.

“All I’ll say is defense, defense, defense,” Model coach Sally Echols said. “We preach day in and day out that defense wins championsh­ips, and I felt like in the second half, defensivel­y we came to play. Probably our best defensive effort this season.”

Junior center Victaria Saxton was everything Model has asked from her and more, recording 25 points, 14 rebounds five assists, three blocks and three steals.

Meanwhile, s enior guard Bailey Upton scored from all over the court, finishing with 24 points and four steals.

The duo were the main catalysts of Model’s big run, as time and again one of the players would cause a turnover, and the other was waiting on the other end for a layup. The Lady Devils (22-5) used this fast pace to overwhelm Armuchee’s upset bid and turned the game into a blowout.

“I t hink t he saying holds true, big players show up for big games,” Echols said. “And V and

The State Traditiona­ls for wrestling were held over the weekend, and a pair of individual­s from Rockmart placed during the three- day event in Macon.

For Rockmart, AJ Streetman topped the list of wrestlers who placed with a second place finish in the Class AA 132 Bailey definitely showed up tonight. Not just in points, but they were sharing the ball, getting rebounds, steals, they were all over the floor.”

Armuchee junior guard Livia Skinner added 16 points, including five 3-pointers, and was a big part of how the Lady Indians (12-14) battled well in the first half. Senior forward Morgan Copeland finished with 14 points, all in the first half, and Brady Ann Wacker r ecorded 11 points.

The first quarter could not have been more back and forth, featuring four lead changes and four ties. But thanks to four made 3- pointers, Armuchee finished the quarter with a 19-18 lead.

The Lady Indians continued to stay in the game, and even took a 2520 lead after Copeland scored three consecutiv­e baskets.

But from there on Model began to break down the Armuchee offense, finding its passing lanes and turning turnovers into points. Model’s unselfishn­ess was on full display as it consistent­ly found the open player on fast breaks.

“In my opinion, it is just as fun to make the key pass to one of my teammates than it is to score the layup.” Saxton said.

A 17-4 run to finish the first half put Model up 3729 at the half, but the Lady Devils acted as if there was no break when the third quarter began. Armuchee continued to commit turnovers and Model was not afraid to build on its lead.

By the halfway point of the third quarter, Model had built a 22-point lead and had its crowd in a frenzied uproar. The lead never came back to single digits again. weight division falling to Josh Engstrom of Social Circle for the state title. Truett Bowman took a f i f t h place win over Devonte Williams of Berrien to place in the state in the 126 pound weight division in Class AA.

The traditiona­ls tournament in Macon marked the end of the wrestling season for Rockmart and Cedartown.

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