For the first time in a very long time, the Lady Bulldogs brought home some hardware.
Thanks to a very memorable tournament run, which included two close victories and a monumental championship game triumph, Cedartown’s girls were able to walk away with the first-place trophy of the 45th Annual Hilburn-Patterson Haralson County Invitational Tournament.
After finishing runners-up to Spring Garden (Ala.) in last year’s bracket, the Lady Bulldogs accepted the invitation to return to the Tallapoosa tournament in 2020. Now under the leadership of former Haralson County head coach Levi Wigley, Cedartown basketball found a little more success this time around.
Wigley’s return to the home of the Lady Rebels got off on the right note last Monday. His Lady Bulldogs faced a tough East Paulding team in the first round on Dec. 28.
In a game that saw both sides take sizeable leads in the second half, Cedartown was to hit one more shot than the Lady Raiders resulting in a 57-55 win.
Senior guards Qiana Watson and Keke Turner finished with 23 and 22 points respectively. Ivari Boozer added four points and six rebounds while Marycille Brumby scored three points to go along with her nine boards.
Cedartown was a heavy favorite to win their second-round matchup the following night versus Bremen. The Lady Blue Devils came into the game 1-6 overall and had just recorded their first win of the year in a 39-36 opening-round upset of LaGrange.
Despite their poor start to the season, Bremen put together a great effort and had multiple chances to knock off Cedartown.
The Lady Blue Devils controlled a seven-point lead over the Lady Bulldogs in the final period, but Wigley’s squad continued to chip away at the deficit. After retaking the lead in the final minute, Cedartown’s Watson stole an inbounds pass and laid it up on the other end, cushioning the lead and sealing a spot in the championship game.
Turner had 18 points and four rebounds in the win against Bremen while Watson added 17 points and 6 boards. Makayla Jordan finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds and Brumby had 12 boards and five points.
For the second straight year, Cedartown’s girls were back in the championship game of the Haralson County Invitational Tournament. The Lady Bulldogs would not be denied the title this time around. Just like last year, though, it would not be an easy task for Cedartown.
They played 6-0 Haralson County, who was coming off a last-second victory against Piedmont (Ala.). Though they led just 14-12 after the end of a low-scoring first half, Cedartown’s offense sparked in the third and fourth periods. They shot 82% from the line in the second half and smothered the Lady Rebel attack, outscoring them 28-17 over the final 16 minutes.
When the dust settled on the court, the Lady Bulldogs celebrated a 42-29 championship game win at Haralson County.
Watson, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, had 12 points in the victory. Fellow senior Keke Turner was added to the All-Tournament team after scoring 16 points in the title game. Jordan had five points and Brumby finished with three against Haralson County.
After going 3-0 in the Haralson County Invitational Tournament, the Lady Bulldogs were 5-1 (1-1) on the season. Their next matchup would come on Saturday as they hosted Paulding County before traveling to Ridgeland on Jan. 5.
The Lady Bulldogs host Region 7-4A favorite Pickens on Friday before hosting non-region Cartersville this Saturday at Cedartown High School.