Friday night saw the Gilmer Bobcats take on the River Ridge Knights in Woodstock. It was a night to forget for both the junior varsity and varsity, as neither was able to come away with a win. The JV had a tough time getting anything going, losing 61-26. The varsity team had a much better game but still fell 58-48. The JV Knights looked to be very athletic and balanced. Samuel McArthur led the “Cats” in scoring with 6 points, while Jake Ray and Chandler Cantrell followed with 5 points each.
In the varsity game, Gilmer controlled the opening tip and Wheeler Lancey got things started with two quick points. Taner Reece was a monster inside early on, playing aggressively. He had an impressive offensive rebound and was fouled on the putback attempt sending him to the line where he hit one of this free throws.
The Knights had crept out to an 8-3 lead, when Joe Bob Charles hit a pull up three-pointer in the face of his defender. A subsequent steal led to two more points from Charles and the game was tied. Four more from Charles and another Lancey runner had the “Cats” up 14-10 after one.
Charles started the second quarter with a tip in and then made two free throws although one was nullified. Bailey Allen proceeded to hit his two free throws after being fouled on the drive and GHS found itself up 19-13.
Lancey shot a long three and his miss was cleaned up by Charles who turned it into two points. Corey Waters hit a three from the corner and Lancey hit another one two possessions later that hushed the home student section as the “Cats” had taken a commanding 29-16 lead. The score ended up at 31-20 at the half, with Gilmer in the driver’s seat.
It was a tale of two halves for the Bobcats, who greeted a seemingly new Knights team in the second half. River Ridge had hoisted many unsuccessful three-pointers in the first half; however, they started falling in the third quarter, as the River Ridge roared back. The Knights outscored the Bobcats 24-5 in the third quarter and led 44-36 with just a quarter to go.
Charles and Lancey did their best to bring the team back, but their efforts fell a little short. They scored 12 points between themselves, but the rocky third quarter was a hole too deep to dig out of.
The Bobcats lost for only the second time this year, and it is my opinion that when they face this team again in Ellijay, it won’t even be close. This Bobcat team is much better on paper than the team Gilmer lost to.
Charles led the Cats in scoring with 24 points. Lancey was next in line with 15 while Waters and Allen finished with 4 each. The Bobcats will be facing the Pickens Dragons on Tuesday in Jasper.