Tag Archives: cartersville

Peach State Stops of the Week (1/8-1/13)

People always ask me, “What’s the best game in town this week?

Peach State Stops of the Week will highlight some of the best basketball being played in Georgia for the current week. Whether it’s a tournament/showcase, a region rivalry, a Top 10 showdown, or a seldom heard sleeper, Peach State Stops of the Week will let you know what gym you need to get into

TUESDAY

No. 3 Sandy Creek at No. 9 Cartersville

Right now, it looks like Region 5-AAAA will boil down to No. 3 Sandy Creek (11-3) and No. 9 Cartersville (10-2). The two teams had a couple wars last year with the Patriots winning at home 86-80 and in the region tournament 60-53 while Cartersville won a wild game in Bartow County in overtime 94-88. While some faces have changed, especially on the Sandy Creek side, expect this long distance rivalry to continue. Kam Miller, Chris Porter and Jarred Godfrey will have their hands full trying to corral Furman-signee Jaylon Pugh. TJ Horton’s aggressiveness in the backcourt will test the Patriots as well. TJ Bickerstaff will have to be the difference maker for Sandy Creek. The 6-foot-7 junior wing has come on strong this season and will need to hunt his shot and crash the glass to take advantage of a smaller Hurricane lineup.

No. 8 Banks County at No. 4 Rabun County [G]

The Lady Leopards (13-3) and the defending Class AA state runner-up LadyCats (12-2) have blossomed into one of North Georgia’s most heated rivalries on the girls’ side. The two meet for the first time this season after Rabun County beat Banks County in the Region 8 championship 78-67 last year after splitting the regular season series. Banks County has challenged themselves early this year, playing three ranked teams twice apiece, going 4-2 against Hart County, West Hall and Madison County. Jaycie Bowen has led the attack from the paint along with Amber Williams while Maddie Thomas and Allison Smith provide matchup problems with their size on the perimeter. Rabun County already has a region loss in the form of an 82-53 defeat at Putnam County, but the emergence of junior guard Georgia Stockton has helped keep the Cats stay afloat without Brooke Henricks. Stockton has poured in the points averaging upwards of 25 per game while receiving help from Laken Stiles and Kaitlin Coleman. Expect an intense high-action game with Rabun County trying to set the tone with their press and challenge the Leopards’ ball handling.

FRIDAY

No. 2 Manchester at No. 1 Central-Talbotton

Coach Anzy Hardman has turned No. 2 Manchester (11-0) into a Class A-Public contender and now has a chance to take over the mantle as the team to beat if they can stop No. 1 Central-Talbotton (13-0) and its high-powered offense. Defensive pressure keyed by Jah’nile Hill, Kalil Brawner and Carlos Dixon will try to disrupt the powerful trio of Tayne Smith, ZyTavian Hill and Javares Copeland. Inside, the Blue Devils have physicality around the rim to deny any free runs from Hill or Smith in the form of 6-foot-4, 295-pound Jerquavion Mahone, a defensive tackle heading to Kentucky. While the Hawks have the size advantage on the perimeter, they will still have to chase around Hill, a lightning rod of energy that thrives in transition and creates offense from his pesky defense. It will be a sell-out crowd over in West Georgia with the potential for a break-neck pace.

SATURDAY

Creekview at No. 10 Etowah

When was the last time Cherokee County had two boys teams with one loss this late into the season? If someone knows, I’d love to hear the answer. The golden days of boys basketball have been fleeting, but there’s a glimmer of hope between Towne Lake and Owens Store Road. The Eagles (14-1) have hovered around the bottom of the Top 10 in Class AAAAAAA, a great honor after their trip to the Sweet 16 last season. Jaxon Etter has begun to garner D-1 interest with his play on the wing. The junior teams up with Tusculum-signee Adrian Cohen, 6-foot-7 senior Julian Baldwin, D-3 commit Carter Ingersoll and defensive specialist Nick Nagy, who has already clamped down the likes of Devin Vassell (Florida State) and KD Johnson. The Eagles have won 14-straight with their calling card being tough-nosed defense that allows just 44.8 points per game. Creekview (13-1) carries a 12-game winning streak in Class AAAAAA behind KJ Jenkins, the No. 4 senior point guard in the state. Jenkins has proven to be a human torch that can catch fire from deep. Ty Allen along with posts Paxton Nayman and James Wall have helped balance the offense while Barrett Patterson supports from the outside. Etowah will be Creekview’s toughest task since their 68-49 loss to Mt. Bethel Christian.

TJ Horton sparks No. 10 Cartersville’s rally at LaGrange

Contributed by Rob Grubbs   (@RCGJr226070)

Sponsored by:   @sportalspace

No. 10 Cartersville 64, LaGrange 60

January 6, 2018 (LaGrange, GA): Region 5-AAAA is one of the most competitive regions in the state, two teams are in the current Top 10, with No. 3 Sandy Creek and No. 9 Cartersville while three others are very good; Cedartown, Troup County and LaGrange. It is also one of the most geographically diverse as well, as there are some serious road trips that accompany region play.  The Cartersville Hurricanes had one of the road adventures Saturday afternoon as they drove over 200 miles roundtrip to LaGrange to face the Grangers in their historic gym.

LaGrange (10-6) had gotten off to a slow start to the season, but Head Coach Mark Veal guided them to a five-game winning streak as they prepared to enter the trenches of region play. Cartersville (10-2) is led by senior, Furman-signee Jaylon Pugh and Head Coach Mike Tobin is putting together the pieces to make a serious run for the region crown. The Hurricanes defeated Central-Carrollton on Friday night, which meant his team would spend six of the next 28 hours on yellow buses. LaGrange lost on the road Friday night at Cedartown as well, so both teams came into the game a bit weary from the road. While the extra travel may have sapped some of their energy early, Cartersville overcame a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to get a huge road win and take an early lead in the region.

The Grangers knew that to stop Cartersville, you had to stop Pugh, so they played a box-and-one defense on him and tried to prevent him from getting the ball in open space, they were making things busy for him with relentless pressure. Their strategy was successful, as they held him scoreless in the first half. LaGrange jumped out to a 14-11 lead to end the first quarter, highlighted by a Bo Russell three and solid defense. Perignon Dyer picked up the scoring slack for the Hurricanes, he scored two three-pointers to keep things close.

Russell got help from his supporting cast in the second quarter, Daz Williams and Jordan Ogletree led a balanced attack for LaGrange while Cartersville got two more threes from Dyer to keep it at 34-29 at halftime.

When Russell hit a three-pointer to start the third quarter, it appeared that the Grangers were prepared to deliver the knockout blow and with 3:45 remaining in the third, Russell hit a smooth runner in the lane to put them up 16 points, but the Hurricanes were pesky and would not go away. Senior TJ Horton took it on himself to keep the game close and with 1:38 remaining, he scored on a nice drive to the basket and made a free throw to cut the lead to nine.

The anatomy of a comeback is always interesting to watch and then replay in your mind. In a game that LaGrange had controlled almost throughout, had led once by 16 and now led by nine with a quarter remaining, Earley Sanders committed an offensive foul that seemed to give the Hurricanes renewed energy.  Pugh broke free of the defense set to stop him and scored two baskets early and when Horton hit a three with 6:32 remaining, the Hurricanes were now only down by six. LaGrange called a timeout so Coach Veal could summon renewed energy that had faded in the start of the fourth, but Cartersville had already stolen the momentum.

After Russell hit one of two free throws, the Grangers had a three point lead and tried to ice the game by spreading out to a four corner set at the 2:50 mark. That strategy backfired as the Hurricanes would close the game out with a 12-5 run down the stretch, led by Horton and Pugh going to the free throw line repeatedly, they would go a combined 8-of-11 from the charity stripe as the clock joined the Hurricanes as the Grangers’ biggest enemy.  In the end, the Hurricanes outscored the Grangers 22-9 in the fourth quarter with Pugh contributing 11 of those down the stretch for the 64-60 final.

For the Hurricanes, it was quick turnaround, after a five-minute postgame meeting with Coach Tobin, the team grabbed seven boxes of pizza and scampered back to the buses for the two-hour ride home. Coach Tobin offered, “We had a tough stretch with these two games back-to-back on the road and their defense picked us apart early, but we played our game and caught some momentum in the fourth quarter. This was a huge road, region win for us. TJ picked us up tonight and carried us for that victory. We have another tough game on Tuesday as we get Sandy Creek, but it will be at home. We are looking forward to that.”

It will be a night that LaGrange will look back on as a missed opportunity. It is tough to lose a lead at home, especially when your star player, Russell, scores 27 points. They will try to get back on the winning page on Tuesday against their county rival Troup County, which is just ahead of them in fourth-place in the region. After the loss to Cartersville, it just became a must win for them.

Rob’s Takeaways

  1. Russell is an electric scorer from LaGrange, the guard moves well with or without the ball, has a good outside shot and can drive to the basket as well.
  2. Dyer scored 15 points for the Hurricanes – all on three pointers, making five and all of them were in big spots with his team behind. There is something to be said about the difficulty of making big outside shots when behind, there is so much more pressure involved and less margin of error.
  3. Pugh showed great discipline, he realized the defense was set up to stop him, he didn’t try to force anything, he allowed Horton and Dyer to focus on scoring and then seized the moment in the fourth by scoring eight in their run at the end, including 4-of-4 from the line.
  4. The LaGrange gym is classic, you can hear the echoes of past games there. There is talk of a new auditorium being built off campus by the city, so she may not be around much longer – great place to watch.
  5. Cartersville got to the free throw line 25 times, Horton had 18 of those alone, while LaGrange got there only 10 times. That is not quite the ratio you would expect from the home team, but it reflects how Horton was constantly driving to the basket.
  6. The decision to go four corners completely took LaGrange out of their offensive mindset, they became tentative and stopped looking to score, which cost them in the end.

Top Performers

LaGrange
Bo Russell – 27 points, 6 rebounds
Jordan Ogletree – 12 points, 6 rebounds
Daz Williams – 12 points, 5 assists

Cartersville
TJ Horton – 25 points, 5 assists
Perignon Dyer – 15 points (5 threes), 4 assists
Jaylon Pugh – 13 points, 6 assists

Peach State Stops of the Week (1/1-1-6)

People always ask me, “What’s the best game in town this week?

Peach State Stops of the Week will highlight some of the best basketball being played in Georgia for the current week. Whether it’s a tournament/showcase, a region rivalry, a Top 10 showdown, or a seldom heard sleeper, Peach State Stops of the Week will let you know what gym you need to get into

THURSDAY

No. 5 Northview at No. 6 Alpharetta [G]

The established Lady Titans (10-3) visit the upstart Lady Raiders (12-1) led by Mississippi Valley State-commit Sydnie Ward. The transfer from Tennessee averages over 17 points per game and has given Coach David Walden a major boost and has diversified the Raider offense, six players averaging over 5 points per game. Inside, the Maduka sisters GoGo and JuJu, will have to slow down No. 5 Northview’s Ashlee Austin and Maya Richards. Austin, 6-foot-2, is averaging over 19 points and 10 rebounds per game while Richards, 6-foot-1, averages a physical 8.4 points and 6.7 rebounds. Young guards Eden Sample and Asjah Inniss will be crucial for the Titans. Sample, a freshman, is averaging over 13 points per game while Innis, a sophomore, is producing close to 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Croix Bethune, Kendall Phillips, Jalyn Tillerson and Grace Knutsen will all be asked to attack Northview’s guards and get them in foul trouble. The winner will be in the driver’s seat in Region 7-AAAAAA.

FRIDAY

No. 4 Lithonia at No. 6 Miller Grove

No. 4 Lithonia (14-3) has a golden opportunity to push themselves atop Region 5-AAAAA if they can go into the Purple Palace and knock off No. 6 Miller Grove (8-6). The Bulldogs will have to match Miller Grove’s size inside. Kevin Paige and Jermon Clark are imposing figures but junior Justin Myles is a 6-foot-7 shot-blocking ace that protects Lithonia’s rim. Senior Ziven Alexander has been aggressive attacking the hoop while Brison Rockcliffe and Eric Gaines round out a balanced attack. Maurice Harvey has paced the Wolverine offense with 16 points per game alongside Lorenzo Anderson who has taken on the role of scoring guard, averaging 14.4 points. TJ Stargell has orchestrated the offense and will have to deal with the defensive pressures of Sydarius Stinson and Tasim Sims.

SATURDAY

No. 10 Cartersville at LaGrange

After a slow start to the season, the Grangers (10-4) have won 5-straight highlighted by a win over Class 5A No. 10 McIntosh 72-71 at the Toyota Classic. Senior guard Bo Russell has taken on the burden of scoring the ball with help from Jordan Ogletree and Daz Williams. Covan Huzzie is one of many Grangers that can stroke the three-ball. LaGrange will have a chance to earn their way into the Top 10 if they can defend homecourt against Region 5-AAAA rival No. 10 Cartersville (8-2). The Grangers swept Cartersville last year, but will have to deal with Furman-signee Jaylon Pugh yet again. The All-State guard is coming off an All-Tournament Team selection at the Lake City Classic where he poured in nine three-pointers en route to 38 points against Millbrook, NC. He is joined by TJ Horton and Perignon Dyer in the backcourt while Isaac Gridley is most productive in the paint. Expect Russell and Pugh to trade baskets all night.

Home is where the heart is: No. 8 Cartersville withstands No. 4 Sandy Creek’s late charge

No. 8 Cartersville 94, No. 4 Sandy Creek 88 OT

After taking a 15-point loss on the chin against No. 3 LaGrange (20-2, 9-0) and in danger of falling out of the Region 5-AAAA race, No. 8 Cartersville (15-4, 6-2) bowed up to No. 4 Sandy Creek (14-6, 6-2) and rode the home atmosphere to a critical overtime victory.

The Patriots opened the game with one defensive mission in mind: stop Jaylon Pugh. The left-handed junior guard poured in 23 points in an 86-80 loss against Sandy Creek back on Jan. 10. KJ Wilkins and others switched off face-guarding Pugh and held him to three points in the first quarter.

Sandy Creek took an 11-8 lead off a Jarred Godfrey steal and assist to Eric Williams and led 19-14 after one quarter.

 

Chris Porter came off the bench and sank two threes in the first half to help Sandy Creek grab a 26-19 lead at the 5:59 mark, but Cartersville began to chip away thanks to heavy Patriot foul trouble. The Hurricanes got into the double bonus with 5:54 left and surged ahead, taking 40-33 advantage into the half after a 21-7 run. Pugh keyed the attack, scoring 11 of his game-high 26 in the frame including back-to-back threes late.

In the third quarter, Cartersville’s onslaught continued, as did the foul calls on Sandy Creek. Just 2 minutes and 6 seconds into the second half, the Patriots already saw a 5-to-1 foul discrepancy. Forward Isaac Gridley started to find baskets around the rim as Sandy Creek hesitated to body up the post. He scored nine of his 15 points in the third quarter while TJ Horton sliced and diced the Patriot defense.

Horton, one of Cartersville’s many football players on the roster, netted nine of his 20 points in the quarter, a majority of them coming from downhill charges to the rim while breaking Sandy Creek’s press.

As the Hurricanes were searching for the knockout punch, Wilkins played rope-a-dope. The senior guard scored 10 of Sandy Creek’s 19 points in the period as the Patriots entered the fourth quarter trailing 62-52.

Things got wild.

Down 67-54 with 6:48 left in regulation, Sandy Creek’s press finally cracked Cartersville. Wilkins and 6-foot-7 senior Evan Jester fueled the comeback. Wilkins scored 12 of his team-high 24 points in the quarter while Jester added 11 of his 22.

Sandy Creek sparked an 8-0 run capped by a Jester slam dunk, but the questionable officiating bit the Patriots again. A referee came screaming into the play to T-up Jester for “hanging” on the rim, resulting in Pugh sinking two free throws to push the lead back to seven at 69-62 at the 6:05 mark.

The tide was stemmed momentarily, but the Patriots kept pushing on. Cartersville clung onto an 80-78 lead with 57.8 seconds left after the Patriots closed in on a Williams put-back. Jester came away with a steal and lay-in to knot the game at 80 and the Patriots forced another turnover to take over possession with 49.8 seconds remaining; Jester pleading to Coach Anthony McKissic to hold for one shot after Sandy Creek called timeout.

The Patriots attempted to hold for one shot but lost possession, handing the ball back to Cartersville and sending JKobe Orr to the line with 5.3 seconds to play after a loose ball foul.

Orr missed both free throws and Kameron Miller’s half court heave was off target, sending the game to overtime.

In overtime, Wilkins began to cramp less than two minutes in. Miller fouled out, one of three Patriots to do so, with 1:57 left. Pugh pushed the lead to 89-86 at the 1:30 mark. Jester got a bucket and a foul but missed the free throw with 29.9 seconds remaining and Cartersville up 90-88. Pugh deflected a late three-point attempt and Trase Fezzia sank three free throws to ice the game, Cartersville going 27-of-42 from the line while Sandy Creek shot 19-of-27.

 

My Take

It sucks for the players, but the story of this game was the officiating. Sandy Creek didn’t get many calls throughout the game but when the technical foul was assessed to Evan Jester, it was pretty much the last straw and from that point on, you knew it would take a miracle for Sandy Creek to pull this one out. Aside from the abhorrent officiating, Cartersville’s tough-nosed guards did what they had to do. Jaylon Pugh cemented himself as a real deal guard and one of the best in North Georgia. He sank three three-pointers on the night and his lefty touch was deadly from all over the floor. He played closer in overtime with six points. TJ Horton played a whale of a game, especially in the third quarter. He thrived in the open court and made good decisions with the ball. Cartersville’s physical guards gave Sandy Creek some fits. Trase Fezzia was an emotional leader on the floor and his free throws late were huge. Isaac Gridley balanced the Hurricanes offense with a great spark in the third quarter after scoring just two points in the first half. Perignon Dyer had seven points at the half but was kept in check in the second half. With all their key pieces except for Fezzia set to return next year, Cartersville will be a stingy competitor in Class AAAA for at least another year, especially at home.

Sandy Creek was up against it tonight but hats off to them for even forcing overtime. Evan Jester was quiet in the first half with eight points and one rebound but turned it on in a big way in the fourth quarter. Eric Williams rebounded at a high clip and gave the Patriots some much needed second chance buckets. KJ Wilkins was phenomenal in the second half, hitting threes and burring mid-range jumpers en route to netting 22 of his 24 points after halftime. It’s a shame that he cramped up in overtime. He did not score in the extra period. Sandy Creek’s quality depth was definitely tested tonight. Chris Porter shot very well in the first half and little man Kameron Miller is a bundle of energy. The 5-foot-6 guard is an aggressive on-ball defender but he even flashed in a major way with his creativity with the ball, constantly getting into the lane and hanging in the air to find open perimeter shooters.

Top Performers

Cartersville
Jaylon Pugh – 26 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
TJ Horton – 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Isaac Gridley – 15 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block
Trase Fezzia – 13 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals
JKobe Orr – 9 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Perignon Dyer – 9 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Sandy Creek
KJ Wilkins – 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Evan Jester – 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals
Eric Williams – 11 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal
TJ Bickerstaff – 10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
Chris Porter – 8 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Jarred Godfrey – 7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
Kameron Miller – 4 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal