Make no mistake, it was a disappointing start to the season for Cedartown basketball.
The Bulldogs raced out of the gates to a 3-8 record, hampered mostly by the absence of several starters playing on the football team.
Now, though, it appears Coach Benjie Frazier has officially righted the ship as Cedartown continued their winning ways last week.
The boys basketball team registered a 45-42 road win at Central-Carroll last Tuesday. In a back-and-forth affair that never wavered, Cedartown nearly saw a late two-possession lead go to waste.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs, senior Jeremiah Johnson hit two key free throws with one second left to solidify the three-point triumph. Johnson finished with 14 points, but MJ Holiday led the way with 16 points scored.
Friday night’s game was not nearly as close. Ridgeland raced out to an 11-8 lead through one period, but Cedartown’s defense stood tall in the second period. Blocking, stealing, and downright halting the Panthers’ attack, the Bulldogs held Ridgeland scoreless in the second interval.
Their 24-11 halftime advantage was increased in the third and fourth periods, leading to a 59-34 win on Senior Night. Holiday had 13 points versus the Panthers while Donald Knight finished with 10. Johnson added 7 points in the victory.
Cedartown (9-8, 8-2) did their job last week, claiming wins over the Panthers and Lions. They have now won six games in a row and find themselves in second place in Region 7-4A, just one game out from taking the top spot. This week, though, the Bulldogs face much stiffer competition in games that massively matter to the region standings.
The Bulldogs traveled to three-seed Pickens on Tuesday, a team that defeated them by 13 points in early January. That was the last loss in region play for the Bulldogs. Then, on Friday, Cedartown hosts region-leading Heritage-Catoosa.
The Bulldogs took a 56-53 decision over the Generals on Jan. 12, the win that sparked this long winning streak. If Cedartown can win both games this week, they will win the region’s regular season crown and clinch a playoff spot.
Friday’s important clash at the Dawg Pound will start at 7:30 p.m. at Cedartown High School. Fans unable to attend can tune into WGAA Radio’s broadcast or watch their livestream on Facebook Live.