The Gilmer High School Bobcats and Lady “Cats” basketball teams traveled south to face their region rivals from Pickens High School, the Dragons and Dragonettes. It was the second time these teams had met this year, with the first coming in the annual Tip-Off Tournament. Gilmer got the sweep, with the Lady “Cats” clawing out a two point, 46-44 victory, and the Bobcat boys beating the Dragons 57-42.
With the junior varsity Gilmer girls having won already, the momentum was on the Bobcat ladies side as they dove into action.
Gilmer controlled the opening tip and the opening quarter. Jade Green pulled down an offensive board and scored with a quick putback. On the ensuing inbound, Bailey Charles stole the ball and turned it into two points.
A couple of possessions later, Green came up big with another offensive rebound and a putback. Despite the Lady “Cats’” hustle, Pickens had taken a 9-6 lead.
With 3:18 remaining in the quarter, head coach, Kim Charles, called a timeout to talk things over. This provided a spark as the Lady “Cats” scored the next 12 straight points.
The run was fueled by great defense, three-pointers from Britton Farlow and Jenna Parks, and an up-tempo pace. After the first quarter, GHS led 18-9.
Megan Allen kept up her great defensive year as she battled with Sarah Smith in the paint and denied her the ball on many occasions. Meghan Flowers received a pass from Parks, pump faked, and scored two points to get things started for Gilmer in the second quarter.
This prompted a Pickens timeout just seconds into the quarter, and the Lady “Cats” led 20-9.
Hannah Jones came into the game making her presence felt. She scored, then drove and dished it out to Parks, who hit the shot for two more points. Pickens took another timeout, trailing 24-11.
Jones would score another basket, but the Dragonettes fought back, with a quarter closing 11-2 run, that made it close at halftime. Gilmer led 26-22 midway through the game.
Parks opened the quarter with an offensive board and putback, and Charles did the same moments later. Jones added four more points and Farlow added a free throw as the teams traded baskets. With just a quarter to play, Gilmer clung to a slim 35-32 lead.
Flowers and Jones came up big for the Lady “Cats” in the fourth quarter. Flowers blocked an attempted tip in, then came down the court and banked one in. Jones was superb when driving into the lane, weaving around defenders and getting to the basket. With Pickens staying close, Flowers hit a three-pointer to give Gilmer a 44-38 lead. The Dragonettes fought back to get within two points, and the Lady “Cats” went into keep away mode. Pickens got one last shot off to attempt to tie it, but it fell short and GHS took the game by a final score of 46-44.
With Pickens using a box-and-one defense to keep Charles in check, the rest of the team did a great job stepping up. Jones led the team with 14 points, with Flowers and Parks finishing with nine points each. Farlow, Green, and Charles all finished with 4.
The boys enjoyed the same success as the girls, but they didn’t have the crowd as worried. Pickens controlled the tip and scored quickly. Joe Bob Charles scored the first points of the game for the “Cats,” and then Gilmer forced a ten second violation call on the Dragons which led to two more points from Charles.
Wheeler Lancey got on the board for the “Cats” when he took a pass from Charles and was fouled on the drive, making one of his two free throws. Taner Reece found himself open for his signature jumper from the side, then Charles followed that with a Eurostep for two points.
Corey Waters and Lancey hit back to back threes, and then a Chandler Burrell block set up another Waters three-pointer giving the “Cats” an 18-10 lead after one.
Hayden Hoequest entered the game to start the second quarter and quickly scored following a good pump fake. Aside from a couple blocks from Reece, the Bobcats were quiet for much of the second quarter until Burrell hit a pretty shot just inside the three point line.
Before time expired, Bailey Allen stole the ball and Waters scored to give the Bobcats a 24-19 halftime lead.
Charles knocked down a three-pointer at the beginning of the third quarter, then poked a pass away that led to two points from Allen. Charles took over the third quarter and hit an NBA length three just as time expired to give GHS a 40-31 lead with only the fourth quarter left to play. Reece also chipped in two free throws.
Pickens put together a mini run to begin the quarter, but Burrell put an end to it when he went up for an offensive board and then hit a turnaround jumper. An intentional foul by the Dragons on Charles gave Gilmer two easy points. Reece had yet another block late in the contest that set up more points for the Cats.
Burrell, Waters, and Reece finished out the scoring for the Bobcats. When it was all said and done, Gilmer walked out with a 57-42 victory. Charles led the Bobcats with 24 points, followed by 13 from Waters. Reece and Burrell each had 6.