Excel boys, Cartersville girls get opening round wins at North Paulding tourney


EXCEL CHRISTIAN BOYS 78, NORTH PAULDING 53

The Excel Eagles used a strong second half performance to pull away from host North Paulding Saturday night in a first round game of the North Paulding Better Basketball Christmas Classic.

Excel outscored North Paulding 43-24 in the second half after leading by only six at the intermission.

Darius Thrower scored 21 points and made 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to lead the Eagles. Chris Hale and Latrel Jones scored 14 points each, followed by Caleb West with 12. Joseph Cuomo added 8 points for Excel. Hunter Johnson 4, Ryan Pickens 3, and Jordan Wilkie 2 rounded out the Eagles’ scoring. Max Rowland had 12 rebounds for Excel.

Chad Terrell and Ethan Reid reached double figures to lead North Paulding with 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Excel (5-5) will play in the tournament semifinals Monday night at 8:30pm against Parkview (5-5) who defeated East Paulding 104-83 Saturday.

The Better Basketball Christmas Classic at North Paulding High School continues Monday and Tuesday with eight games each day.

CARTERSVILLE GIRLS 56, EAST PAULDING 29

The Cartersville girls basketball team defeated East Paulding 56-29 behind 23 points from Madison McKinney and 17 by Kimora McClinic. The victory was in a first round game of the North Paulding Better Basketball Christmas Classic at North Paulding High School.

The Lady Canes improved to 3-4 on the season and will play in the tournament semifinals Monday against Union Grove at 4pm. Union Grove defeated Allatoona 52-41 in the opening round Saturday.

The Cartersville boys also won in the first round of the Better Basketball Christmas Classic Saturday, defeating Paulding County. See CANES STORY LINK.

LASSITER GIRLS 46, EXCEL CHRISTIAN 26

The Excel Lady Eagles only trailed Class AAAAAA Lassiter 22-18 at halftime, but then managed only one field goal in the second half in a 46-26 loss Saturday at the North Paulding Better Basketball Christmas Classic.

Lassiter was led by Megan Norton with 11 points. Emilee Slotin and Emilee Olson each added 8 points for the Lady Trojans.

Rylie Boston scored 10, Whitney Harris 8, Xena Enos 4, and Brighton McCollum 4 for Excel.

With the win, Lassiter (4-7) advanced to the holiday tournament semifinals on Monday and will play the host, North Paulding Lady Wolfpack at 5:30pm.

Excel (5-5) will now play in the consolation bracket. The Lady Eagles will meet Paulding County Monday at 11:30am at North Paulding High School.


RIVER RIDGE GIRLS 58, CASS 47

River Ridge led 10-6 after one quarter and 22-10 at the intermission. The Lady Colonels outscored the Lady Knights in the second half 37-36, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.

Cass is now 5-4 on the season. River Ridge improved to 4-7 with the region victory.

The Lady Colonels will play next in the Lafayette Christmas Classic December 28. They are scheduled to meet Gordon Lee at 10am at Lafayette High School. That tournament continues through December 30.

RIVER RIDGE BOYS 57, CASS 35

The Knights trailed Cass by two points after one quarter, but took control of the game in the second period with a 37-13 lead at the break.

River Ridge improved to 3-8 on the season. Cass slipped to 2-6.

The Colonels are idle until January 2 when they travel to Creekview for a 5pm start.

#basketball #ExcelChristianAcademy #Cartersville #Cass

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770-547-9341