When the Calhoun girls played Pepperell last Saturday, the region-leading Lady Jackets dominated the game from start to finish.
On Friday night, Calhoun controlled a much smaller segment of the game — the final 4½ minutes.
With the Palmer sisters, Taylor and Molly, leading the charge, the Lady Jackets closed the game with a 10-2 run to pull away from Pepperell for a 51-35 victory in Lindale.
The victory extended Calhoun’s winning streak to 17 games, but this one was hard earned.
Calhoun (18-1, 10-0) trailed by one point early in the third quarter, and owned a not-too-comfortable eight-point lead midway through the fourth quarter before finally shaking free in the closing minutes.
“Pepperell played great tonight,” said Calhoun coach Jerry Pruett. “They gave us all we wanted.”
Taylor Palmer, who finished with a game-high 24 points, scored six points during Calhoun’s game-sealing surge in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, and Molly Palmer added the other four points during the run.
Although Calhoun maintained its perfect region record, the Lady Jackets certainly had to work much harder in Lindale than they did during last Saturday’s 59-24 win over Pepperell in Calhoun.
“Coach Pruett always tells us that anytime we go on the road, we should be ready to get the other team’s best shot — and that’s what happened tonight,” said Calhoun’s Wimberly Roe.
Erin Wilder scored a team-high 10 points for the resolute Lady Dragons, and Tymesha Dozier added eight.
Pepperell — which trailed 40-8 at halftime of last Saturday’s game — limited the Lady Jackets to three field goals in the second quarter while outscoring Calhoun 15-8 in the period. The Lady Jackets led 24-23 at the half,
“I wanted to see some improvement (tonight), and we definitely played better,” said Pepperell coach Judson Cox, comparing this game to the previous meeting.
“We can take a good many positives from this game. Are we happy and satisfied? No. … But overall, I am very pleased with our effort.”
Calhoun built a nine-point lead late in the second quarter, but Pepperell closed the period with an 8-0 run, fueled by a pair of jumpers by Jacrisa Ware, to trim the gap to 24-23 at the half.
Ware then opened the second half with another basket to give the Lady Dragons a 25-24 lead.
Calhoun responded with a pair of free throws by Carly Curtis, which ignited a 10-2 run that gave the Lady Jackets a 36-27 lead late in the quarter.
Pepperell stayed within striking distance for the opening portion of the fourth quarter, trailing by eight points with 4:45 to go.
The Lady Dragons then had two chances to trim the lead to six or five, but came up empty on both possessions, and Calhoun closed the game with the 10-2 run to seal it.
Calhoun will visit Coosa on Friday as they continue their quest for an undefeated run in the region.
Pepperell is at Model on Tuesday.