Bulldogs fight back to take region crown

Cedartown’s MJ Holiday and the Bulldogs topped Heritage-Catoosa in a tight game Friday to win the Region 7-4A regular season title.

For the first time in recent memory, Cedartown’s boys basketball team has won the regular season region title.

In finishing first in the Region 7-4A title, the Bulldogs have earned their second state playoff appearance in three years and will have a first-round bye in the region tournament.

Coach Benjie Frazier’s team suffered a tough loss to start play last week. They traveled to region foe Pickens and fell in Jasper. With the loss, the Dragons swept the Bulldogs in the regular season series. Cedartown simply had too many early mistakes in the 49-40 road defeat. Jeremiah Johnson and Michael Walker led the way with 8 points each, while MJ Holiday scored 6 points in the loss.

Fortunately for the Bulldogs, region-leading Heritage-Catoosa also lost at Central-Carroll in their league matchup. This set up a winner-take-all meeting at Cedartown High School on Friday in the Bulldogs’ final regular season home game of the 2020-21 season.

All started well for Cedartown. The Bulldog defense was phenomenal in the first half against the Generals, controlling an early 20-point lead at home.

The second half was a completely different story, though. Heritage-Catoosa put together a phenomenal comeback effort but just fell short of glory. Instead, Cedartown held on for a 57-54 win to earn the season sweep over the Generals.

Holiday led the way with 17 points while Jordan Johnson finished with 9. Jeremiah Johnson and Billy Darden added 7 points apiece.

With the 1-1 record of play last week, the Bulldogs finish region play at 9-3. The Bulldogs have clinched a spot in the postseason and have earned a first-round bye in next week’s region tournament, which will be held at Northwest Whitfield High School in Tunnel Hill. If Cedartown wins their first game in the region semifinals, they will host a state playoff game for the first time in over a decade.

The Bulldogs return to play this Saturday in their regular season finale. Cedartown (10-9 overall) travels to Temple for a non-region contest against the Tigers. This weekend’s clash in Carroll County will tip-off at 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on WGAA Radio and Facebook Live.

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