Cedartown’s boys picked up their first region victory in the form of a home-court blowout.
After close losses to Cartersville and LaGrange last week, Cedartown was finally able to get their first league win. The Bulldogs upended Central 71-55 on Tuesday night at home thanks to a great overall team effort.
There was little separation between the two squads early on. Each side traded early leads in the first period before the Bulldogs pulled away just a tad before the period-ending buzzer. Through one period, Cedartown led 16-11.
In the second, the Bulldogs were able to add to their advantage. Jadon Powell, Jashad Woodall, and Jayden Johnson led Cedartown’s charge in the second to increase their lead. At halftime, Cedartown held a 37-27 lead.
Though their offense had been performing well, Cedartown’s defense was allowing far too many points to Central in the first half. That would change in the third period. The Bulldogs allowed only three baskets for the Lions in the third. On the other side of the ball, Jayden and Jeremiah Johnson heated up to help Cedartown hold a 55-35 lead through three periods.
In the final stanza, Cedartown showed no signs of slowing down. After close losses to Cartersville and LaGrange the previous week, the Bulldogs knew all too well what could happen if they let off the pedal. Nice final-period performances by Jadon Powell, Billy Darden, and MJ Holiday allowed Cedartown to continue to pour it on Central.
With two minutes left in the game Coach Benjie Frazier put in reserves who allowed some late baskets to the Lions, making the score a little more respectable. When all was said and done, the Bulldogs had obliterated the Lions 71-55.
Cedartown was led in scoring by Jayden Johnson’s 15-point 5-rebound performance. Jadon Powell finished just short of a double-double as the senior fouled out with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Jeremiah Johnson and Billy Darden finished with 10 points each while MJ Holiday scored 8 points.
Senior Jashad Woodall, in his varsity debut, added 8 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. DJ Frazier and Elijah Diamond tallied 4 points each in the victory.
Trey Powell scored 16 points- 13 of those coming in the fourth- in Central’s loss. Camden McClure and Nick Martin scored 8 points each while Wesley Henderson and Jayden Greene finished with 6 points.
Abrin Daniel added 4 points and Xavier Adams, Jarvis Brown, and Joseph Bell recorded 2 points each. Jacobi Almon made one free throw in the loss.
Now 7-4 (1-2), Cedartown sits at fourth in the region standings. The Bulldogs were set to go to battle with Troup County on Saturday but inclement weather forced that game to be rescheduled to Jan. 22.
Their next contest will come Tuesday against the region-leading Sandy Creek Patriots. Sandy Creek has not lost to Cedartown on the hardwood since region realignments following the 2015-16 school year.
The Patriots, who just knocked off previously undefeated LaGrange 75-45 on Saturday, are led by five-star forward Jabari Smith.
The 6-8 190-pound star is ranked as the no. 5 player nationally for the class of 2021 and holds scholarships from programs such as Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, and LSU.
Tip-off Tuesday from Cedartown High School is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Those unable to make it to the game can tune into WGAA Radio’s broadcast (106.1 FM, AM 1340, WGAARadio.com, and Facebook Live).