Despite not getting the desired outcome, Christian Heritage’s girls basketball team kept firing shots Tuesday against Excel Christian Academy.
And despite going 6-for-34 from behind the 3-point line, the Lady Lions still kept the game close before Excel pulled away late in the fourth quarter to win 43-35 in a Sub-region 6A-A matchup.
“We just weren’t hitting,” Lady Lions coach Heather Lowery said. “We weren’t patient. Then, of course, we get down to the end of the game and needed some shots, but just rushed a lot of stuff.”
The Lady Lions (5-15, 2-5 Sub-region 6A-A) swapped buckets with the Lady Eagles early, leading 10-9 with 1:16 left in the first quarter. But a 13-2 run by Excel Christian (5-13, 1-6) broke the game open midway through the second quarter for a 22-12 Lady Eagles lead.
Excel’s lead dwindled in the third quarer as Lady Lions tightened up their defense and created turnovers. After an Excel timeout with 5:39 left in the third, guard Alexis Poag cut into the deficit with a 3-pointer from the right wing to cut the lead to 30-21.
Guard Sarah Massengale then scored eight straight points after a Christian Heritage timeout, and the Lady Lions trailed 32-29.
Lady Eagles center Emily Willingham, however, countered with a flurry of her own with a putback off of an offensive rebound, then two jumpers to make the edge 40-32 with just 2:28 left.
“If we would have hit a couple of 3s down the stretch, we’re in this game,” Lowery said. “It could have been much worse than it was. We just didn’t piece it together like we should have.”
Poag paced the Lady Lions with 13 points, while Massengale added 10 and a game-high 19 rebounds.
Guard Andrea Taylor led the Lady Eagles with 15 points, while Willingham added 13, with eight coming late in the fourth quarter.
Excel Christian boys 61, Christian Heritage 41: Eagles guard Rudy Winters’ 23 points led all scorers, and the Lions found no answer for the Eagles’ intensity on defense, which created 24 turnovers.
“When you turn the ball over that many times, and then you go 10 of 32 in the paint... what else do you need (to know)?” Lions coach Anthony Moseley said. “Turnovers get us every game. That was a really good team. (Even if) you just get half of (those misses), you’re in it. We beat them on the boards, but we just need to clean our game up against a team like that.”
It was a nip-and-tuck game after one quarter, with the score tied at 10. Excel (19-1, 8-0) then outscored the Lions 19-4 in the second quarter, with Winters hitting two long 3-pointers to push the lead to 11 midway through the period.
Christian Heritage (6-10, 2-6) trailed 29-14 at halftime, and 44-26 entering the final period.
Will Patterson led the Lions with 10 points, while Michael McKinney added nine points and 15 rebounds.
Northwest Whitfield girls 58, LaFayette 40: Up by just a point at the end of the first half, the Lady Bruins’ defense finally wore down the Lady Ramblers, and Northwest’s shots finally started falling.
Kaitlin Wade had a game-high 22 points — with 13 of those coming in the final period — and added seven rebounds to lead the Lady Bruins (13-7, 4-2 Sub-region 7B-4A). Autumn Blackwell finished with 10 points, while point guard Halle Ford had eight assists and seven steals.
More than anything else, Lady Bruins coach Greg Brown believed the pressure and late steals led to the win.
“I think that was the big difference in the second half,” Brown said. “Our pressure gave them trouble in both the full-court and half-court game tonight. We didn’t shoot it great, but we hit some shots in the fourth quarter, and that carried us.
“Kaitlin was aggressive tonight and did a good job of finishing around the basket.”
Northwest boys 78, LaFayette 55: Tanner Quarles hit seven 3-pointers for a game-high 21 points as the Bruins (16-3, 6-0) used a strong second half to stay perfect in Sub-region 7B-4A.
Northwest led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter and 30-28 at halftime. By the third period’s close, the Bruins led 57-46.
“We had a little heart-to-heart at halftime,” Northwest coach Ryan Richards said. “We really didn’t defend very well in the first half. LaFayette was playing very well. I told them to rise up to the challenge. We scored 48 points in the second half, and a lot stemmed from starting to defend.”
O’Shea Hill had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Northwest, while Andy Whisenant and Kaleb King each added 11 points.
North Murray boys 75, Adairsville 49: Despite holding a 36-31 lead at the end of the first half, North Murray coach Tim Ellis wasn’t pleased.
“We were really lethargic and didnt come out focused and ready to go in the first half,” Ellis said. “During halfitme, I laid it out to them real simple.”
The Mountaineers responded, holding Adairsville to just five third-quarter points en route to the big Region 5-3A victory. North Murray outscored the Tigers 21-5 in the period and rolled to the easy win after losing three of their last four contests.
“The Third quarter, they did a marvelous job defensively,” Ellis said. “... That really put it out of reach.”
Zach Vess scored 25 points to lead North Murray (16-4, 7-2). Austen Horn added 16 points, and Drew Mosteller finished with 10.
North Murray girls 42, Adairsville 26: North Murray’s Abigail Bradley finished 17 points, and the Lady Mountaineers dominated the second half to move above .500 in Region 5-3A play.
Bradley sank a trio of 3-pointers, and Meagan Spivey and Grace Phillips each scored seven points for North Murray (12-8, 5-4), which led 17-14 at the end of the first half and stretched that to 29-20 going into the fourth, where it held the Lady Tigers to just six points.
“The third quarter is where we really took advantage of some things, and we kept that up in the fourth,” North Murray coach Keith Robinette said. “I thought Grace Phillips had one of her best games of the year, offensively, defensively, rebounding — her entire game.”
Heritage-Catoosa girls 69, Dalton 59: Down by a point going into the fourth quarter, the Lady Catamounts fell behind midway through the fourth, and Heritage was clutch at the free-throw line to take the win.
The Lady Generals made 10 of 11 free-throw shots in the final period to hand Dalton (16-5, 5-1 Sub-region 7B-4A) its first league loss since the 2009-10 season.
“The difference is we shot 35 percent from the field and they shot 60 percent from the field,” Dalton coach Jeff McKinney said. “They played well at home and made nine 3-pointers, seven in the first half.”
Dalton led 22-21 at the end of the first quarter and trailed by a single point at the end of the third, but Heritage went 20-for-26 for the game from the free-throw line and hit more than 50 percent of its 3-pointers.
Carson Sharp led Dalton with 15 points, while Brooke Thomas, Maddie Howell and Taylor Behr each scored 14.
Heritage-Catoosa boys 67, Dalton boys 60: The Cats put the Generals on the free-throw line 27 times and only took 10 themselves in the road sub-region loss.
Dalton led 36-30 at halftime, but Heritage took the win in the third meeting between the two teams this season. Dalton had won by 21 points at home and 14 in a holiday tournament game at Murray County.
“To their credit, they played well, and we didnt do a good job defensively of making them turn the ball over,” Dalton coach Mike Duffie said. “... They took advantage and hit some shots and we just didn’t execute down the stretch there.”
Demond Rucker led the Cats (14-5, 4-2 Sub-region 7B-4A) with 20 points, while Brandon Painter and Rico Mears scored 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe girls 60, Coahulla Creek 49: Down 24-20 at the half, the Lady Warriors changed their defense and the Lady Colts suffered the loss.
“They did a good job of mixing up their defense, and our execution was a little lacking in the second half,” Coahulla Creek coach Ryan Long said. “It wasn’t that we came out flat in the second half, but we just need to to a better job of positioning when they change their defense up on us.”
Macey Fossett led the Lady Colts (5-13, 3-6 Region 5-3A) with 19 points, while Hannah Locke added 10.
LFO boys 55, Coahulla Creek 39: Up by just a single point at the end of the first half, the Warriors gradually pulled away in the second half for the region victory.
Levi Wilson scored 14 points for the Colts (2-15, 1-8 Region 5-3A), while Cordarius Tarver added 13.
LFO outscored Coahulla Creek 31-16 in the second half.
Armuchee girls 65, Murray County 38: In the battle of Lady Indians, host Armuchee came out hot, built a lead and was able to hold off Murray County in a Region 7-2A contest.
Armuchee was 5-for-6 from the 3-point line in the first quarter and led 34-19 at the end of the first half. Murray County cut the lead to nine in the third quarter, but Armuchee stretched it to 15 going into the fourth.
Holly Stanfield and Caitlyn Sims each scored 12 to lead Murray County (6-14, 3-6).
Armuchee boys 87, Murray County 63: Down by 10 at the half, Murray County was able to stay within striking distance of Armuchee, but the home team outscored its visitors 30-16 in the fourth to take the victory.
Armuchee made 24 of 29 free throws in the game.
“Give Armuchee a lot of credit because they shot the ball really, really well tonight,” Murray County coach Greg Linder said. “Every time we made a run in the second half, they would answer.”
Brady Todd led the Indians (10-10, 5-4 Region 7-2A) with 17 points, while Dillion Cantrell added 16 and Jacob Sturgill had 10.
Northwest JV boys 53, Lafayette 23: Clay Phillips and Jamon Horne both scored 12 points to lead the Bruins to the win.
Southeast JV boys 46, Ridgeland 40: With 12 points each, Jonathon Gowan and Noah Ramsey led nine different scorers for the Raiders (8-8).
North Murray JV boys 59, Adairsville 34: Matthew Clayton had 12 points, while Jordan Couch added nine for the Mountaineers as they remained undefeated through seven games.
Dalton JV girls 52, Heritage 45: Callie Smith led the Lady Cats (8-4) with 13 points. Taitlyn Chesser added 12 and Mia Smith tallied 11.
In a meeting between three schools at Coahulla Creek, Murray County beat the host Colts but fell to Ringgold.
Murray County beat Coahulla Creek 59-18, while Ringgold won 49-29 against the Indians. Annibeal Raymundo (106 pounds), Domingo Bautista (113), Clay Thornbury (182) and Seth Gilbert (220) each went 2-0 for Murray County.
“It is our last dual meet of the year before next week’s area traditional tournament,” Indians coach Chris Thornbury said. “Now we will look ahead and start concentrating on our individuals and trying to get people qualified for sectionals.”
Coahulla Creek did not report its results from the duals.
• North Murray’s wrestling team took every weight class but two in powering over Armuchee 72-12, but host Trion topped the Mountaineers 46-36. Alex Gambino (113 pounds) and Matt Pellam (126) were the only two-time winners for North Murray.
Dalton’s boys and girls split a three-way meet at home with Signal Mountain and Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences.
The Cats (14-1) won with 144 points, while Signal Mountain (47) was second to finish ahead of CSAS (28).
Dalton’s winners were the 200-yard medley relay team of Ethan Young, Pierson Scarborough, Taylor Mathis and Michael O’Brien, which finished in 1 minute, 49.50 seconds; Alan Trejo (200 freestyle, 1:56.78; 500 freestyle, 5:29.92), Scarborough (200 individual medley, 2:14.87), Young (100 butterfly, 57.13; 100 backstroke, 59.12), O’Brien (100 freestyle; 54.04), the 200 freestyle relay squad (Mathis, Sam Reeves, O’Brien, Trejo, 1:40.54) and the 400 freestyle relay squad (Young, Trejo, Mathis, O’Brien, 3:42.70).
In girls competition, Signal Mountain scored 101 points to top Dalton (96) and CSAS (71).
The Lady Cats (8-7) had no first-place finishers.
• Kathryn Stafford won the girls 200 freestyle (2:22.60) as Coahulla Creek’s swim teams both finished third in a three-school meet held at Adairsville High.
Cartersville’s boys and girls won with 187 and 171 points, respectively. Cass scored 141 in the girls meet, followed by Coahulla Creek (133). For the boys, Cass (132) was second, followed by the Colts (117).