Cedartown (1-7) played stronger against the Lions with most of its regular players back from a prolonged football season due to the Bulldogs state title run.
Central used a strong performance by Jay Holbrook to get ahead early. Holbrook had nine first quarter points to give Central a 13-10 lead after one period.
Cedartown then battled back, using a trap defense and causing several turnovers. No one made a trip to the foul line until the final minutes of the second quarter, however the foul line proved to be the difference. Cedartown shot only 11 percent from there (1 for 11) while Central shot 61 percent ( 11 for 18).
Central took a narrow 24-23 lead into the second half of play. Cedartown’s trap defense continued to cause turnovers, as Sam Hunt stole the ball at mid court and hurried in front of everyone and dunked it for his first high school dunk with 2:50 left in the third quarter.
Trailing 41-31 going into the final period, Cedartown had to resort to fouling. Central however was up to the challenge and led by sophomore Cass Vaughn’s three free throws was able to pull away and win 54-44.
Cedartown’s defense was led by Trey Brooks, who had three steals. James Gibson came off the Bulldogs bench and contributed 10 points, while Sam Hunt had eight points and four rebounds. Verdis Boone led all Bulldogs with seven rebounds. Central was paced by Jay Holbrooks 23 points, and Cedric Moore had eight points and seven rebounds. Cedartown will continue it’s young season after the new year.
Despite losing in the final rounds, the boys got the 27th Annual Haralson County Invitational Tournament off on the right foot Thursday.
Cedartown handed the Bremen Blue Devils a 63-50 defeat in the opening round.
Cedartown used a strong first quarter, in which they outscored Bremen 17-7.
Freshman Corey Gardship got things rolling when he took the opening tip and attempted a dunk but was fouled on the play. Gardship finished the night with 10 points.
Demarcus James, playing in just his second game after being a key part of the football team’s success, helped keep the early momentum of the first quarter in the second quarter.
Cedartown took a 30-19 lead into the half.
Bremen’s Blue Devils weren’t ready to go away however as they charged back during the third frame, mainly thanks to the six-foot-six Jacob Evans who chipped in 14 points on the night.
Cedartown’s athleticism proved too much for the Blue Devils though and Cedartown took a commanding 50- 29 lead into the final period and cruised to the tune of a 63- 50 win.
James finished the night with 12 points, Brooks had 11 points but Verdis Boone led all scorers with 20 points and eight rebounds.
Cedartown lost to Heard County Friday in the second round action of the tournament. Heard County went on the win the tournament.
Coach Joey Arnold said he expected to Bulldogs to show improvement now that he has a full compliment of players, many who played on the football team that went to the state finals.