With the boys’ No. 1 seed hosting the tournament this season, Rockmart came into Friday night’s game at Coosa needing a victory to secure the honor. A loss would have forced a coin flip to determine the top seed, with Rockmart, Coosa and Chattooga all having the same region record and going 1-1 against each other during the season.
The tournament starts Monday and will continue Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Games begin at 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
Rockmart (15-8, 13-1 7-AA) took control early against Coosa, with consecutive 3-pointers from Chandler Cooper, Ty Floyd and Tyler Rowland setting the pace for the Jackets as they led 16-8 after the first quarter.
Down 22-13 near the halfway point of the second period, Coosa (15-8, 11-3) went on a 9-2 run to get within two of Rockmart and go into halftime behind just 26-23.
A Keshaun Kindred layup capped a 9-3 Coosa run in the third quarter that gave the Eagles a 34-32 lead with 2:43 left in the period. The lead changed hands three more times before Rockmart got a three-point play from Logan Burge and led 38-37 heading into the final quarter.
Coosa began the fourth with a series of missed shots, giving the Jackets an opportunity to go on a 10-2 run that ran through the first six and a half minutes of the period, putting Rockmart up 48-39 and sealing the win.
Juke Boozer finished with a double-double for Rockmart, posting 15 points and 11 rebounds to go with four blocks. Rowland had a total of three 3’s, while Cooper had two.
Coosa was led by Jatorien Owens, who scored 14 points total with eight coming in the third period. Jalen Hodge made a pair of 3’s on the way to eight points, all in the second period. Sean Brown finished with eight points as well.
The Eagles take the third seed into the region tournament and will play the winner of Monday’s Armuchee-Gordon Central contest on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.
Chattooga, which defeated Pepperell 64-52 on Friday, finished the season with a 15-10 record and 12-2 mark in region play for second. The Indians have a bye until Friday’s semifinals.
Notre Dame boys 41, Darlington 40
Darlington’s boys’ basketball team traveled to Chattanooga on Saturday and came up short in a close contest against Notre Dame (Tenn.) in the Dr. Pepper TEN Classic, losing 41-40.
Patrick Shelley scored a team-high 18 points and Tate Ratledge added nine. The Tigers (13-11) completed their Region 6-A schedule Friday with an 88-78 win over Mt. Zion.
Darlington will begin the Region 6-A tournament on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Trion High School against the winner of Trion-Bowden.