-The Red Bud girls varsity basketball team put forth a spirited and gritty effort in what proved to be a defensive grind against the Cartersville Lady Hurricanes last Thursday, but ultimately fell short 29-21.
Points were at a premium in this one, as both teams deployed a high-intensity brand of defense that disrupted most shot attempts. The game remained scoreless until the two-minute mark in the first quarter, and the tally only grew to 3-3 by the end of the period and 9-7 by the end of the half.
It was apparent that both squads made adjustments at the start of the third and baskets finally started falling in the third quarter. However, it was the Lady Hurricanes that converted more of their free-throw attempts and fast break opportunities into a 22-15 lead heading into the final period of play.
The Lady Phoenix chipped away at the advantage, slicing the lead down to four points with a couple minutes remaining. But Cartersville maintained its composure and sunk the majority of its free throws as time was winding down to clinch the victory.
Olyvia Hopper and Taylor Steele both posted a team-high five points for Red Bud.
First-year Red Bud head coach Frank Pinson said he was disappointed with the loss, but looks at it as a learning opportunity for his squad.
“The game didn’t exactly turn out the way that we wanted it to, but it did show us what we have to work on moving forward,” Pinson said. “We just missed way too many free throws and makeable lay-ups, so we have to work on finishing plays. Hats off to Cartersville, they came in here prepared to play a very physical game.”
Despite the loss, Pinson said he is still ecstatic to lead the program, and remains optimistic that this will be a successful season for the Lady Phoenix.
“I’m from Dalton, but I have heard about Red Bud and Sonoraville and how hard they play,” Pinson said. “And now being a part of this team and this community, I love it. The enthusiasm around the program is amazing, and I think we are going to have a very good year.”
It was a very different result for the junior varsity Lady Phoenix in its clash against the Lady Hurricanes, which ended in a 32-25 victory for Red Bud.
The team was led by Diana Smith and KK Lyles, who each tossed in 11 points. Taylor West added five points.
-The Red Bud boys basketball teams also split their contests against Cartersville on Thursday afternoon.
The boys varsity team was defeated 42-36 in a tight matchup that was decided in overtime. The Phoenix battled back from significant halftime deficit to knot the score up at 32-32 with 10 seconds remaining in the game before the Hurricanes pulled away in the extra period.
Leading the way for Red Bud was Brant Bryant with nine points, with Jaxon Pate and Tyler Johns adding seven and Christian Roberts netting six.
The junior varsity Phoenix collected a victory, dominating the Hurricanes 46-14. Bryant tossed in 18 points, with Ethan Hibberts contributing eight.
-The Red Bud Middle School Firebirds kept the undefeated streak alive by picking up three match victories at Ashworth Middle School last Friday.
The Firebirds squared off against Rockmart Middle School in the first match of the evening, topping the Yellow Jackets 67-42. Red Bud then cruised by the New Hope Middle School Kodiaks 72-27 before knocking off Ashworth 94-18. The victories propelled the team’s dual record to 12-0.
Individual wins were collected by Thomas Young, Misha Arbos, Nic Haberman, Cole Hunt, Blake Dendy, Druu Faulk, Colt Weaver, Rowan Burdick, Lake Prater, Jeremiah Payne, Jeremy Young, Zach McAfee, Gavin Harper, Jebb Knight, Ivan Thurman, Draven Peppers and Jaxx Knight. Junior varsity wins were picked up by Harrison King, Jacob White, Caden Blevins, Andrew Carey, Nick Smith and Ty Brown.
-The Firebirds additionally competed in the Colonel Slam traditional tournament the following day at Cass High School and finished second overall by just two points.
Tournament champions included Cole Hunt, Rowan Burdick, Zach McAfee, Draven Peppers and Jaxx Knight. Jebb Knight picked up a second-place finish, Nic Haberman and Jeremiah Payne picked up third-place finishes and Misha Arbos and Blake Dendy rounded out the group with fourth-place finishes.
NOTE: For inclusion in the Middle School Roundup, coaches, assistant coaches or team statisticians are asked to submit game information, scores and stats to Tyler Serritt by email at TSerritt@CalhounTimes.com.