The Blue Devils completed a stretch of three straight days of action Saturday with a 55-44 win over Pickens County in the Big Blue Classic at Model after playing three games last week in the Rome News-Tribune/Seven Hills Rotary Christmas Tournament.
And while the team dropped three of its last four contests, the Blue Devils now have a few days to catch their breath before getting back to Region 7-AA play Friday at Chattooga.
“That’s a lot of basketball between last week’s tournament and this week’s tournament, and there’s a whole lot for us to work on,” Model head coach Jacob Travis said. “A lot of mistakes we make are unforced.”
After a 16-16 tie to end the first quarter Saturday against their Class 4A opponent, the Blue Devils outscored the Dragons 11-3 in the second period to put them ahead 27-19 at halftime.
The Blue Devils (7-6) slowed slowed down their pace in the second half however, and let the Dragons sneak their way back into the game.
Pickens (1-14) was able to close the gap to six points in the fourth quarter, but Model pulled away for the win. Jackson Mathis and Jabari Burge each scored 11 points to lead Model, while Brayden Dean and Kidron Ford each scored 10.
Travis said the mix of teams from higher classifications this week allowed him some insight into the troubles his team is facing heading into the second half of the season.
“It was really good exposure of some of our weaknesses,” Travis said. “We play a Pickens team that’s an upstart and well-coached and we can’t put them away. So we have the same problems against the good teams as we do against the teams that don’t have winning records.”
Coosa saw its three-game winning halted in an earlier game Saturday as the Eagles lost to Class 7A opponent North Forsyth 59-48. The Raiders (8-6) won all three of its games in the Classic.
Trailing North Forsyth 39-30 going into the final period, Coosa (7-5) got as close as five points to the lead before a 10-2 run allowed the Raiders to pull away for good.
Kenon Dixon led Coosa with 18 points and Zeph Philyaw scored nine points on three 3-pointers. The Eagles get back into Region 7-AA play Friday when they host Dade County.
Calhoun completed play in the Classic in the early game of the day coming away with a 61-58 win against North Oconee. Gage Maffetone led the Jackets (7-5) with 14 points, and Tononcito Martha scored 11.