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PREP BASKETBALL: Model, Rome girls earn spots in Christmas Tournament semifinals

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The second day of the 64th annual Rome News-Tribune/Seven Hills Rotary Christmas Tournament wrapped up with a pair of last year’s top teams getting their first shots in against the competition.

Clearly they were ready to continue their winning ways.

Model’s Lady Blue Devils strolled to a 52-27 win over Woodland on Tuesday at Georgia Highlands College while Rome’s Lady Wolves gave first-year head coach Jason Harris his first Christmas Tournament win by defeating Armuchee 62-37.

The two teams met in the finals of the traditional holiday event last season, with Model winning its second consecutive Gold Ball Trophy.

“I think we played hard. That’s what we expect them to do,” Harris said of his team’s effort Tuesday. “We came out and kind of set the pace — set the tempo. We never try to deviate from what we want to do. I was fairly pleased with our effort and intensity, and that’s what we preach.”

Model was paced by senior forward Victaria Saxton, who scored 21 points when she wasn’t getting rebounds or blocking shots.

Here is a closer look at Tuesday’s games:

Model girls 52, Woodland 27

A strong first period laid the foundation Model’s 52-27 win over Woodland in the Lady Devils’ first game of the tournament Tuesday as they went on a 13-0 run during the opening eight minutes.

Besides Saxton, Model (9-2) got plenty of contributions from players like Libby Upton, who finished with 14 points, and Megan Kent, who added seven.

The defense for the Lady Devils also made its presence felt as their full-court press frustrated Woodland many times.

Woodland (2-5) was paced in the scorebook by Whitney Harris’s 16 points.

The Lady Wildcats will be back in action Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Georgia Highlands in a consolation game against Armuchee. Model’s girls will follow at 5:30 p.m. in their semifinal game against Darlington.

Rome girls 62, Armuchee 37

Tamiya Griffin led Rome (4-1) with 18 points while Amberly Brown and Taya Gibson had 11 points each.

Overall, 10 different Rome players made the scoring column in the game as the Lady Wolves saw all of their bench players get in the game.

Armuchee (7-4) was paced by Livia Skinner, who finished with 18 points followed by BrandyAnn Wacker with eight.

Rome’s semifinal opponent will be Calhoun, with the game set to tip off Thursday at 7 p.m. at Georgia Highlands. Armuchee will face Woodland in a consolation game at 4 p.m.

Cartersville girls 42, Coosa 41

In Tuesday’s first girls’ consolation game, Cartersville and Calhoun traded blows in the first half before a spirited comeback by the Lady Hurricanes powered their 42-41 win.

Coosa (2-6) did not trail from early in the first period until the very end of the game, leading by double digits during the third quarter.

But Cartersville never gave up and managed the take the game in the final seconds.

Cartersville (4-4) was led by Kallie Scheff, who scored 16 points. DeAsia Jefferson and Londen Shaw were right behind her with six points each. Cio Seigler also made two important shots in the fourth quarter, including the game winner.

The Lady Eagles were led by Emma Reynolds and Carah Arrant with 12 points apiece. Taylor Roberts followed with eight.

Sonoraville girls 56, Pepperell 41

Pepperell’s Kaylee Mansell scored a game-high 20 points but the Lady Dragons couldn’t overcome Sonoraville’s offense in the second girls’ consolation game Tuesday, losing 56-41 to the Lady Phoenix.

Sonoraville (6-3) never trailed in the game and was led in scoring by Maliyah Parks and Alexa Geary with 12 points each. Sandi McMullin added nine. A total of six Lady Phoenix scored seven points or more.

Besides Mansell, Pepperell (2-6) was helped in the scoring column by Anna Cowan who was next on the team with six points.