With less than a month until the start of basketball season, both the Cedartown Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs basketball teams are preparing for a year in which they could both clinch a playoff spot for the first time in several seasons.
The boys team finished the 2017-18 season with an overall record of 12-1, and included wins over area opponents Coosa, Darlington, Temple, and Rockmart.
The team also compiled a 6-7 record against Region 5-AAAA teams, winning at home against LaGrange and Troup County and sweeping Central and Chapel Hill in the regular season. A 46-32 loss against Troup County in the Region Tournament last February ended their season.
How the Bulldogs move forward without last year’s senior leaders, Trevon Wofford and TJ Martin, will determine how this season will play out.
Wofford was an all-around athlete and is currently a quarterback for the University of Pikeville’s football team and receiving significant playing time as a true freshman.
Martin’s ability to set up a play and abilities as a floor general will surely be missed as well.
The Dogs will return key contributors from a season ago, including guards DJ Frazier, Chadriq Neal, and Rashad Walker, forwards Zahquan Frazier, Jayden Johnson and Jeremiah Johnson, and sharpshooter Elijah Pace.
The team might also look to promote some of last year’s JV team members to the roster, as well as some of the members of Cedartown Middle School’s region championship team from last year.
The Cedartown Lady Bulldogs team also made great strides in the 2017-18 season. Matching the boys with an identical 12-12 record, they defeated Coosa, Darlington, Temple, and Rockmart to start the non-region schedule 4-0.
After cooling off a bit, they were able to hop into the Region 5-AAAA schedule with a 6-5 record. The girls team finished region play at an overall record of 12-11, defeating Troup County and Sandy Creek and sweeping Cartersville and Chapel Hill. A heartbreaking 54-51 overtime loss on February 6th in the Region Tournament to Central ended the Lady Bulldogs' hopes for a postseason run.
Two key departures from last year’s Lady Dogs team are Kenzavia Neal and Destiny Whatley, both 2018 graduates. Coach Eddie Gambrell will look to find girls to replace Neal, a guard who was stellar in the “floor general” role, and Whatley, a forward who was a force in the paint.
Led by senior center Tamera Beeman, the girls team is looking to build upon last year in which they secured their most wins in a season since the 2009-10 team. Sophomore guards Keke Turner, Qiana Watson, and Ava Allred return, along with wings Kamryn Frazier and Delecia McSpadden, and forward Zykeria Washington. Fans can expect to see freshman get playing time this season with the additions of Marycille Brumby, Zaria Beeman, and Haley Forrister among others.
Both teams tip off at home against Temple on November 24, before continuing their non-region schedule with a lengthy road trip to venues including Paulding County, South Paulding, Coosa, Pickens, and Rockmart.
They will participate in the Rockmart Tournament Dec. 20-22, and following that start region play at home versus Cartersville on Jan. 4.