Rockmart girls’ coach Andre Clark knew Coosa was capable of surprising his Lady Jackets if they weren’t careful.
Tuesday evening saw the host Lady Eagles make some of those moves in a Region 7-AA contest at The Eagles’ Nest, but Rockmart’s Keyarah Berry eventually took things into her own hands to give her team the 62-43 win.
Berry, who is one of the top scoring basketball players in the state, scored 40 points, including all of the points in a 14-0 third quarter run that all but sealed Rockmart’s victory.
But that’s not how things began for the visitors, as Coosa grabbed the momentum early, feeding off of 3-pointers from Maddie Shell and Mary-Kathryn Broadway to go up 14-6 before Rockmart closed in on the lead and trailed 14-9 after the first quarter.
“Well, this is one of the things we’ve been dealing with all year. Some first quarters, we just don’t show up,” Clark said. “And I told him before they came in here, because I kind of looked at the scores. Where they (Coosa) were losing by about 20 or 30 early in the season, they started closing that gap. So I was like, this team’s got better. We better show up and not have a flat first quarter.”
Rockmart’s missed shots early on starting falling in the second quarter as Berry was getting fed by her teammates inside, and the Lady Jackets took a 28-23 lead into halftime.
Coosa (1-10, 0-7 7-AA) got a good start to the second half and took a 32-30 lead on a trey from Broadway three-and-a-half minutes into the third, but then Berry started her big run to pull Rockmart right back ahead.
Berry finished 14-of-15 from the line and scored all 16 of her team’s points in the second quarter. Teammate Megan Little had 13 points. Emma Evans and Logan Adams each had four points.
“She’s been pretty much that girl that has carried us to where we need to be,” Clark said of Berry. “We lost Megan for the first five or six games you know, and we’re sitting here at 6-1 in the region and we didn’t have our second all-region player for most of the season.”
The Lady Jackets finished out the week falling to Chattooga 64-48 in a road trip to Summerville, placing them at 6-2 in region play and just a game behind the Lady Indians in 7-AA standings.
The Rockmart boys ended their week with a 9-8 record and a win over Coosa but a defeat at the hands of Chattooga. The Jackets put up a 10-point, 51-41 win over the Eagles on Jan. 7, but fell 67-50 to the Indians in a road trip on Jan. 10.
That put the Jackets in third place in the region standings behind Model and Chattooga.
Rockmart’s teams are back in action this week hosting Dade County and then traveling to face Gordon Central on Jan. 17. They were supposed to play Bremen over the weekend on Saturday, but games were postponed due to severe weather.