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Cass teams, Excel boys drop early first round games Wednesday at their holiday tourneys

The morning phase of the Adairsville Christmas Clash and the Dalton Chick-Fil-A Classic was not kind to local teams Wednesday in holiday tournament action.

The Cass girls, who had won five straight and nine of their first ten, fell to Darlington and the Cass boys -- playing somewhat short-handed -- also had a modest win streak snapped with a loss to Walker Valley (Tennessee) in first round action in Dalton.

At Adairsville High School, the Excel Christian Academy boys dropped their tournament opener to the South Paulding Spartans.


The Excel Christian Academy boys used some hot first half shooting to lead Class 6A South Paulding 40-38 at halftime, but the Spartans outscored the Eagles 23-12 in the third quarter to take command in a first round game at the Adairsville Christmas Clash Wednesday.

The Spartans had five players reach double-figure scoring in their 84-66 win.

Andrew Lavigne posted 19 for South Paulding. Jeremiah Taylor followed with 17 points. Giovanny Thomas contributed 14. Sean Lynch finished with 12 points and Randy Harris added 10.

Jacob Taylor scored a game-high 25 points to lead Excel. Jakaden Barkley scored 14 points. Kyron McClendon finished with nine. Comari Nettles and David Jinks tossed in six each while Matthew Simon, Christian Viera, and Kamarion Profitt added two points each for the Eagles.

South Paulding improved to 8-3 and moved into Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal against Calhoun.

Excel Christian Academy (5-6) will play in a consolation round semifinal Thursday at 11:30 a.m. against Long County.


Slow starts in the first and third quarters did the damage for the Lady Colonels Wednesday morning in a first round 48-37 loss to Darlington at the Chick-Fil-A Classic hosted by Christian Heritage in Dalton.

The Lady Colonels trailed 15-9 after one quarter and kept pace the rest of the half to trail 21-16 at the intermission. The Lady Tigers then outscored Cass 20-10 in the third period to take control and carry a 41-26 lead into the final eight minutes.

Cass made a dent in the margin in the fourth quarter but Darlington (10-2) held on for an 11-point win.

Kiana McDaniel led the Lady Colonels with 12 points. Nevaeh Woods followed with 10. Mikaela Jackson scored six. KK Evans finished with five points. Kaitlyn Godwin and Olivia Woods added two points each in a losing cause.

Cass (9-2) will play its second of three games at the tournament Thursday in a consolation bracket semifinal against Walker Valley (Tenn.) at Dalton’s Riverbend Park at 1 p.m.


Jelani Hames

The Cass boys had a three-game win streak snapped Wednesday in the first round of the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Dalton. The Colonels, who had won five of six heading into the three-day tournament, fell to Walker Valley (Tennessee) 76-52 at Christian Heritage School.

The Mustangs from Cleveland, Tennessee, took a 15-8 lead in the first quarter and never trailed. Walker Valley led 34-21 at halftime and 54-35 by the end of the third quarter.

Cash Coates and Coleman Green led the Mustangs with 17 points each. Tayvon Barber and Hubert Brabson also reached double figures for Walker Valley (10-3) with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

KJ Rogers scored 17 points to pace the Colonels’ scoring column. Jelani Hames finished with 13 and Isaiah Ford had 10 points for Cass. Jason Brown-Harmon, Tom Brannon, and Jakai Baldwin scored three each. Jayden Foster added two points.

Cass played without Sacovie White, Kevin Henderson, and Devin Henderson who are all playing in a football all-star game.

“The layoff hurt us,” said Cass boys coach Kevin Cunningham. “We didn’t shoot the ball well and did not execute on offense. When you play a good team and do not play well this is what happens. It’s a tough loss. We will regroup for tomorrow.”

Cass (5-6) plays Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Dalton Riverbend Park in a consolation semifinal against North Paulding.


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