After an 0-3 start to the season, the Rockmart girls’ basketball team has found the right mix on the court to be successful.
The Jackets, meanwhile, are still getting their feet under them after members of the football team recently joined the team following the end of football season.
Either way, both teams know it’s still early and there’s a long way to go in the season.
Rockmart’s girls followed up a Region 6-3A victory over Adairsville on Dec. 12 with wins over Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe and Ringgold last week to move to 3-2 against region opponents.
Hosting the Lady Warriors last Tuesday, the Lady Jackets fell behind 8-0 at the start of the game before a 3-pointer from standout Keyarah Berry jumpstarted a 14-2 run.
Rockmart never trailed again as its defense strangled LFO’s production inside the paint and the Lady Jackets took off on an 18-0 run in the second period and went on to win 65-44.
Rockmart girls coach Andre Clark said the team has been working on chemistry and what works well with the personnel they have, which includes sophomores and freshmen.
“I think we found a good defense that we could run, you know, with the group of girls that we have this year, so we’re just gonna try to keep getting better each game. That’s the goal right now,” Clark said.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to focus from the beginning and sustain that all the way through. I think we can score but defense has to be the thing, eliminating turnovers.”
Berry had 34 points against LFO, including going 7-for-7 from the line, while teammate Megan Little finished with 17 points. Both seniors hit three treys, while freshman starter Analee Morris added two 3’s on the way to eight points.
The trip to Ringgold on Friday provided a little more competition for the Lady Jackets, but a 50-point night from Berry helped pull Rockmart out of a halftime deficit to win 69-63 over the Lady Tigers.
Berry, who signed with Indiana just before the start of the season, also had six rebounds, five steals and three assists in the close game.
Rockmart was down 39-37 at the break before jumping out in the third quarter to take a 55-48 lead heading into the final eight minutes of the game. Ringgold fought back but couldn’t retake the lead before the final buzzer.
Sophomore Taylor Turner had seven points and three rebounds for Rockmart, while freshman Zori Williams had six points and four rebounds. Little finished with three points and 10 assists to go with three rebounds and three steals.
The Lady Jackets were scheduled to travel to LaFayette on Tuesday, Dec. 22, before playing in the Adairsville Christmas Tournament Dec. 29-31.
Rockmart’s boys fell to LFO 65-49 last Tuesday before losing 55-39 at Ringgold on Friday, bringing their overall record to 2-5.
Jacket coach Vic Calhoun said the extension of the football season into the basketball season has hindered their progress early on but he knows they have some talented players.
“I think we’re a confident locker room right now. I think we all understand though that we’ve got a long way to go. Our practices have been good. We’re getting better every day,” Calhoun said.
“Our issue right now is our best defensive group is not really good on offense. And our best offensive group is not really good on defense. So we’re trying to figure out as coaches what combinations work well together and what doesn’t.”
The Jackets were down 39-26 early in the third quarter against Warriors when they caught the Ramblers off guard and went on an 11-0 run to get within two. But LFO recovered and put together an 11-0 run of its own to start the fourth period.
Treylin Davis had 12 points, all of which came from 3-pointers, while Jakari Clark added 11 points. Omarion Garrett and Javin Whatley each had six points.
The Jackets’ next games are at the Adairsville Christmas Tournament Dec. 29-31.