We played great tonight on defense, Head Coach Benjie Frazier said. That was the key to the game, the effort we gave on the defensive side of the ball.
The 44 points allowed were the second lowest total the Bulldogs have allowed this season. The lowest total came in a Jan. 4 win at Haralson County when Cedartown held the Rebels to 32 points.
The Lady Bulldogs, meanwhile, dropped their fifth straight game as their offense continues to struggle. Against the Lady Lions, Cedartown lost 48-42. During their five game losing streak Cedartown is averaging only 39.4 points per game.
But despite the Cedartown girls falling in the opener, the crowd still left energized as the Bulldogs showed that they may have finally turned the corner.
Fraziers team, which has only three seniors on the roster, went into their Jan. 12 game against Darlington with a 2-9 record. Cedartown upset Darlington 78-64 and then played very well in their next game before losing 79-78 to Cass.
Last Friday, the Bulldogs continued to show that they are improving as they dominated Central-Carroll in every category.
Our offense was a little stagnant but our defense led to a lot of easy points for us, Frazier said. And thats what we want to do. We want to play hard, aggressive defense and in return get easy baskets in transition.
With the defense shutting down the Lions, Brandon Brown and James Smith were able to get majority of Cedartowns points on fast-break layups. Smith finished with a game-high 25 points and Brown scored 24.
The Bulldogs (4-10 Overall, 2-6 Region 6-AAA) held a shaky 14-9 lead entering the second quarter before they went on a 16-4 run to build a 30-13 lead and never look back.
Even when Central-Carroll (5-11, 2-5) cut the Bulldogs lead to eight, 33-25, early in the third quarter, the game was never in question. Cedartown responded with 10 straight points to go up 43-25 and remove all doubt about the outcome of the game.
Courtney Farris scored 10 points to lead the Lions offensive attack and Eldon Finch added eight.
In the girls contest, the Lady Bulldogs (3-11, 1-7) could get nothing going on offense. Central-Carroll (9-7, 4-3) did not allow Cedartown to score their first basket of the game until 3:21 remained in the first quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs managed only eight points in the opening quarter and thanks to a 10-1 run by the Lady Lions to end the opening half, Cedartown trailed 30-19 at the break.
Cedartowns offense got even worse in the second half, as they scored only 18 points. Shakenda Stallings finished with 12 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs offense and Kirstin Prescott scored 10. Lydia Elkins added nine for Cedartown and Kaneisha Pace tallied five.
Kelsye Holt scored 16 to lead Central-Carrolls offense and Raven Davenport added 10.
Despite neither game coming down to the wire, the night wasnt without its drama. After the boys game had ended, a Central-Carroll player raced into the stands to confront a member of the Cedartown student section who had taunted him throughout the contest.
A fight immediately broke out, but was stopped quickly before it could get totally out of hand by coaches from Cedartown and Central-Carroll as well as school resource officers and Cedartown High Athletic Director Mark Loudermilk.
Except for that escapade at the end, this was a good night for us, Frazier said.
No serious injuries appeared to have occurred during the fight.
Cedartown will play again on Friday, visiting Villa Rica for a region contest. After that game, Cedartown will finish the regular season with four straight home games.