Calhoun’s Taylor Palmer was forced to sit on the bench for the entire second quarter during the Lady Jackets’ game against Model on Tuesday due to foul trouble.
And it seemed she wasn’t very happy about it.
So the senior post player came out in the third quarter after Calhoun held a slight 28-25 halftime lead and took out that frustration by scoring 10 points to key an 18-6 advantage in the period for the Lady Jackets which turned out to be the difference in a 58-43 over the Lady Devils.
Palmer finished with a game-high 18 points to lead the Lady Jackets (21-1, 13-0) to a huge win which clinched the No. 1 seed for the Region 7-AA Tournament that begins next week at Georgia Highlands.
“She did a great job, and her, Molly (Palmer) and Carly (Curtis) got some good passing going,” said Calhoun coach Jerry Pruett. “Her and Molly work well together, being sisters, they kind of anticipate, talk to each other and work very well together in a high-low game.
“I thought we just read what (Model) was giving us and were able to get what we needed to get out of it. I told them that if we were patient (on offense), you work it long enough and you’re going to find something.”
Curtis was the only other Lady Jacket in double figures as she had 16, including going 4-for-4 at the free throw line late in the fourth quarter when Model had cut the lead back to 11 after trailing by as many as 19 in the period. Shanta McDaniel added eight.
Carla Clemmons had 13 to lead Model (19-6, 10-3). Timia Reynolds had 11, and Karlee Akin scored 10.
Model coach Sally Echols said her team couldn’t match Calhoun’s run in the third quarter.
“We had a let down in intensity there,” said Echols. “Calhoun started to score effectively, and we didn’t do a lot to stop that. Offensively, we lost our flow, and I felt like we started forcing things.”
Model led 15-12 after the first quarter thanks to three free throws as Kaylee Akin was fouled on a last-second heave at the end of the period.
Calhoun rallied from there, outscoring Model 16-10 in the second quarter, including a 7-0 run midway through the period to turn a 19-17 deficit into a 24-19 lead.
Pruett said he didn’t know how much being the No. 1 seed would make a difference, but clinching it against Model is even bigger.
“I think with it being against Model, with what they’ve been able to accomplish over the years, getting the win helps us,” said Pruett. “Being the No. 1 seed, I’m not sure how much it helps you because whoever you face (at the region tournament) is going to be a good team, whether you’re the No. 1 or No. 2. It’s nice to say you’re the one seed, but you still have to win that first game at region to be able to host the first round of the state tournament.”
Echols said her team will improve from this and hopefully get some momentum back before the region tournament.
“It’s great preparation because any time you face a good team like Calhoun, you’re going to get better,” said Echols. “We’ll learn from our mistakes and break down the film. We’ve got to finish well and look to go into the tournament next week playing well.
“We’ve got Senior Night on Friday against Murray County, and I feel like the girls will be very focused and ready to go on our home floor.”
Calhoun visits Armuchee on Friday, and Model hosts Murray County in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Calhoun girls 58, Model 43
Lovering 2, Kay. Akin 5, Reynolds 11, Kar. Akin 10, Clemmons 13.
M. Palmer 6, Roe 2, Wright 6, T. Palmer 18, Curtis 16, McDaniel 8.
Model 15 10 6 12 — 43
Calhoun 12 16 18 12 — 58
3-Pointers — Model 3 (Kar. Akin 2, Reynolds 1); Calhoun 3 (McDaniel 2, Curtis 1). Free throws — Model 8-19; Calhoun 11-17. Records —Model 19-6, 10-3; Calhoun 21-1, 13-0.