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BASKETBALL: Rockmart, Chattooga reach boys’ championship game

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A quick start gave the Chattooga boys’ basketball team the boost to get up on Coosa early in the Region 7-AA tournament semifinals Friday as the Indians went on to win 60-43 at Model High School.

It was the first game in the tournament for Chattooga since the Indians earned the No. 1 seed through their play in the regular season.

“This group is very special. Everyone knows we lost a lot of talent from last year’s team and some outstanding players, and these boys have heard since before last year that they were going to struggle,” Chattooga coach Jared Groce said.

“They’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and it’s paying off right now. They’ve earned the chance to play for the region championship.”

Chattooga (23-3) held a 13-3 lead near the midway point of the first period as Coosa was unable to find its rhythm early thanks to the up-tempo defense displayed by the Indians. The Eagles got within eight twice in the final three quarters, but Chattooga pulled away each time.

Jaylen Hodge and Sean Brown led the attack in the third period for Coosa (9-17) as the Eagles outscored the Indians 14-9 in the quarter to go into the final frame down 44-36. Jatorrian Williams hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth, and Coosa didn’t get a basket until nearly five minutes into the period.

Jundraius Adams led Chattooga with 17 points, including four 3’s, while Jamarious Mosteller had 12 points. Williams 10 and Malachi Mack each finished with 10.

Coosa was paced by Brown’s 10 points, followed by three players with nine points each — Hodge, Kenon Dixon and Jaylon Nelson.

Chattooga will play Rockmart for the region championship tonight at 8:30 p.m. The Jackets handed Chattooga its only region loss, 57-50, last Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams.

Coosa is in the boys’ consolation final against Pepperell at 3:30 p.m.

Rockmart boys 49, Pepperell 46

The fight for control was a near constant one for the two teams in the late Region 7-AA boys’ semifinal game Friday at Model High School, but Rockmart outlasted Pepperell 49-46.

Juke Boozer scored a game-high 22 points and Sam DePew added 13 as the Jackets battled to the end and came up with the win to send them to tonight’s region championship game and secure a home game in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.

Pepperell (13-10) went into halftime up 24-19, but DePew and Ty Floyd hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the third period to tie the game at 25 apiece.

Rockmart (16-10) took a 47-40 lead in the fourth, and Dawson Melton hit a pair of free throws with 30.9 seconds left to draw Pepperell within one, 47-46.

Branson Hanks led the Dragons with 11 points, including three 3’s. Melton finished with nine, and Davis McGinty had eight.

Rockmart will face Chattooga for the region title tonight at 8:30 p.m., while Pepperell and Coosa meet in the tournament’s third-place game at 3:30 p.m.