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PREP BASKETBALL: Rome girls stay focused, rout Kell 57-28

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Nearly six minutes had expired since the Rome girls’ basketball team had scored a point when Taya Gibson managed to get to the basket for two early in the second period.

Over the next 16 minutes, the Lady Wolves kept finding the net, while the visiting Kell Lady Longhorns rarely did as Rome rolled to a 57-28 win Friday on its home court.

Two huge runs in the middle quarters propelled the Lady Wolves in the Region 7-5A contest as they enter the final week of the regular season ranked in the top ten in Class 5A and with a 10-1 mark in the region.

“We’ve got to stay focused on our goals as a team and never take anyone for granted,” Rome coach Jason Harris said. “We’ve got to continue to shoot the ball and focus on the little things like boxing out and rebounding, the little things that can turn a ball game.”

Friday’s win came two days after a region battle with Carrollton where the Lady Wolves used a pair of late free throws to take it 64-63.

Harris said the effect of that game rolled over into the bout with Kell, which started with Rome getting out to a 6-0 lead only to have the visitors match that by the end of the opening quarter.

“It was just us having a very emotional win over Carrollton … and like any team when you spend so much energy and effort in a big game like that you can come out kind of flat,” Harris said. “Then we finally got our legs and started picking up the pace, realizing that Kell is not just going to roll over.”

Rome (18-2) began an all-around assault on the Lady Longhorns with a 16-0 run in the second period that was only interrupted by a free throw by Kell’s Sylvia Kahoro with 1:23 to go before halftime.

Up 24-7 at the break, the Lady Wolves got right back at it in the third with Tarrah Gibson scoring seven of her eight points as part of a 22-0 stretch that gave Rome a 46-9 lead with 2:04 left in the period.

“That was a pleasure to see happen,” Harris said, referring to Tara Gibson’s mini-run in the quarter. “She’s gone through a stretch the last couple of games where she’s struggled a little bit, so I was extremely happy to see her see the ball go in and get some points. That will definitely help her confidence.”

Nine different players scored for Rome, with Katie Beth Davis leading all scorers with 11 points, which included three 3-pointers. Four other Lady Wolves — Floyd, Taya Gibson, Tara Gibson and Justyce Moore — each scored eight.

Kell (8-13, 5-7 7-5A) was paced by Ashley Sparrow’s 10 points, most of which came in the final period.

With all of the rescheduling due to weather postponements, Rome will play five games over the next week, four of them on the road, including today’s game at Hiram at 6 p.m.