The Calhoun Yellow Jackets kept their region upswing going at the Dragon’s Lair on Friday night, downing Pepperell 69-51.
The Yellow Jackets lengthened their winning streak to six games, and remained at the top of Region 7-AA with a 9-1 record.
The Jackets (13-3, 9-1) took over early, asserting 14 points in the first quarter, while holding the Dragons to four points.
The ten-point lead sustained Calhoun for the rest of the first half, although Pepperell narrowly outscored the Jackets, 11-9, in the second quarter.
But whatever control slipped away from the Jackets was quickly regained in the third quarter when Calhoun set the tone for the second half with three back-to-back 3-pointers by Collin Parker, Greyson Arnold and Hunter Seibers.
The Jackets went on to score six total 3-pointers in the third quarter alone, which helped them outscore Pepperell 25-16.
Despite the lopsided score, the game featured 18 3-pointers, nine from each team.
In the fourth quarter the Dragons (7-10, 4-5) kept up, as they were outscored just 21-20, but couldn’t find their footing long enough to narrow the margin.
The leading scorers for Calhoun were Kaelen Riley with 19 points and Hunter Seibers who posted 16.
The workhorse for Pepperell was Kyle Henderson with 17 points, the only Dragon to reach double digits.
“It feels really good (to win another region game) – really good,” said Calhoun coach Vince Layson.
“The guys have come out each and every night and they’ve put forth the effort and they deserve it.”
While Calhoun rolled to another 7-AA win, Pepperell, who once shared the top of the region with Calhoun, suffered their fourth straight 7-AA loss.
“I thought we had, again, a lot of makeable shots early that could have kept us in it and maybe had us ahead,” said Pepperell coach Skip Matherly, “but in the second half their talent and their athleticism kind of took the game over.
“You have to give credit to Calhoun tonight. They came out and took the fight to us.”
The Dragons, however, are looking to put the loss behind them in order to bounce back for the rest of the season.
“The big thing is that we have to have a short memory right now,” said Matherly.
“I have to go to work this weekend, and the kids have to go to work on Monday and get ready to play Model on Tuesday, and that’s where we are in the season.
“We don’t have time to dwindle and worry about this. That’s the great thing about basketball.
“You don’t have time to dwell. You have got to keep moving on to the next play and the next game and the next thing, and that’s kind of the way life is, so that’s the way we’re approaching it.”
The Dragons travel to Model on Tuesday. Calhoun visits Coosa.