The girls got it done.
Cedartown’s girls basketball team knocked off Cartersville 42-39 in Bartow County on Friday night. The victory marks their sixth straight win over the Lady Canes, a streak dating back to January 2018.
Both squads used the first period to get a feel for what type of matchup this game would be. Defenses stood tall in the opening interval. As it concluded, Cedartown held an 11-10 lead.
In the second period it became the Qiana Watson show.
The junior guard ripped off 9 points in the second to extend the Lady Bulldog lead. Though Cartersville tried to make a comeback, the Lady Canes trailed 24-18 through one half.
The game stayed tight through the third period. Cartersville did a much better job capitalizing on offense and thus outscored Cedartown 11-7 in the period. Going into the final period, the Lady Bulldogs still led 31-29.
In the final interval, though, Cedartown did just enough to get the victory. They allowed only one basket to Cartersville the entire eight-minute period while Keke Turner and Qiana Watson each hit big shots to ice the game. When all was said and done, Cedartown won 42-39.
The leading scorer for Cedartown (5-3, 1-0) was Qiana Watson with 18 points. Keke Turner scored 11 points and Marycille Brumby finished with 6 points. Zoe Diamond Paisley added 3 points while Kamryn Frazier and Kam Cochran added 2 points each.
As for Cartersville (7-6, 0-1), Lehla Thomas led them in scoring with 12 points. Ariana Cochran added 8 points and Jakayah Draughn scored 7 points. Cio Seigler finished with 6 points, Naijah Evans scored 4, and Zoe Casey tallied 2 points.
The win came on the heels of a loss to Spring Garden in Haralson County’s Invitational Tournament Championship to end 2019.
The Lady Bulldogs fell 71-66 in overtime to Spring Garden in the Dec. 30 contest.
This title game was close throughout. Both squads opened with scoring runs but the lead narrowed towards the end of the first period. After one, Spring Garden led 16-12.
The no. 1 team in the state of Alabama for Class 1A kept their foot on the petal to start the second period. After going on a nice stretch, though, Cedartown’s defense tightened up. Multiple Lady Bulldog defenders- especially Kamryn Frazier- recorded several steals and rebounds to end Lady Panther possessions. CHS outscored Spring Garden 18-16 in the second to make the halftime score 32-30 in favor of the Garden.
Marycille Brumby hit a massive three-pointer to open the second half. This set the tone for the rest of the third period, letting Spring Garden know that Cedartown was not backing down. The Lady Bulldogs once again outscored the Lady Panthers in the third to hold a 45-42 advantage going into the final stanza.
Then, all of a sudden, Spring Garden went cold. No shots were falling and they could not slow down Cedartown on defense.
With under a minute left, Cedartown had a two-possession lead. The Lady Bulldogs had the game won.
They may have been down, but they were not out. The Lady Panthers hit one shot to cut their deficit to two points. After a turnover, they had 4.6 seconds to drive the length of the floor to tie or win the game. The score was 60-58.
The in-bounds pass went to seventh-grade point guard Ace Austin, daughter of legendary Spring Garden head coach Ricky Austin. Austin raced down the floor, evaded a foul-attempt by Qiana Watson, juked into the lane and hit a buzzer-beating floater. The Haralson County Gymnasium- decked out in maroon-and-yellow faithful- erupted with excitement.
In overtime, Cedartown simply could not match Spring Garden. Ace Austin scored nine of Spring Garden’s eleven points in the extra period to help give her team the victory.
The leading scorer for Cedartown was Zoe Diamond Paisley who scored 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Qiana Watson finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds while Kamryn Frazier tallied 12 points and 6 rebounds. Keke Turner added 10 points and 6 rebounds and Marycille Brumby recorded 9 points and 4 rebounds. Kam Cochran scored 6 points and Kaylee Nikolopoulus hit a jumper to finish with 2 points.
Watson and Turner- who had fantastic performances at Haralson County- were both named to the all-tournament team.
Ace Austin, who led all scorers with 20 points, was named tournament MVP. Neely Welsh added 13 points while Macy Reedy scored 12. Alexis Adkison finished with 11 points and Breanna Rogers recorded 7 points. Abbey Steward tallied 5 points and Kayley Kirk scored 3.
The next game for Cedartown’s girls was being played Saturday at home versus region foe LaGrange. Check back for updates on how the game turned out in the coming edition.