Catamounts Pounce on 9th Grade “Cats”

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The Gilmer High School Bobcats freshman basketball teams traveled across the mountain to Dalton, to take on the Catamounts. In their next to last game of the year, Gilmer looked to end the year on a winning streak. There was a lot of good basketball to be played, but the outcome was in the favor of the Catamounts, with Gilmer’s girls going down, 42-38, and the Bobcat boys falling 51-32.The early game was between the Lady Bobcats and the Lady Catamounts. Dalton jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, making two of its four free throws. Sarah Aaron was playing superb defense early on, getting steals and even a couple of blocks.

Baylee Burnette was able to break the Dalton press and find Harley Weaver in the paint where she scored Gilmer’s first two points on a pump fake. Moments later, a cutting Delaney DeLoach was sent to the charity stripe where she hit one of two free throws.

Weaver scored again when she grabbed an offensive rebound and made the putback. Aaron, DeLoach, and Karla Cantrell all added points as Gilmer closed out the quarter with 11 unanswered points.

Jennifer Stamps started the second quarter scoring with an impressive up and under move that got the defender to bite. With 5:30 remaining in the half, Dalton finally notched their second basket.

Cantrell and Macie Chastain had subsequent drives where they were fouled and hit the second of their two free throws giving the Lady Cats a 15-6 lead. After going back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, Gilmer took the lead to the locker room, up 22-13 at the half.

The third quarter started out in frustrating fashion for the Lady Catamounts as Dalton had to call an early timeout due to Gilmer denying the ball on the inbound. The frustration ended, as the Catamounts clawed its way into the lead, holding GHS to only four points in the quarter courtesy of DeLoach and Chastain.

Chastain’s bucket at the end of the quarter gave the lead back to Gilmer but it was a slim one. The score was 26-25 with only the fourth quarter to play.

Dalton scored on an offensive rebound to start the final period. The host team looked poised to enlarge the lead when one of their players came open for a three, but Aaron hustled over and blocked the shot. Chastain forced a turnover and then scored on a great pass from Burnette, giving the Lady Cats a two point lead.

Dalton was able to regain control of the game and fought back to the lead with less than a minute left to play. Down by four, Coach Haley Parks called the perfect play during a timeout and it led to a clutch three-pointer from Kaleigh Reece at the top of the key. Only a point behind, the visiting Lady “Cats” was unable to regain the lead, and ultimately fell 42-38.

The future is bright for the Gilmer Lady “Cats” program. Reece led the Lady Cats with 9 points, followed by DeLoach with 7, while Chastain and Stamps had 6 each. The 9th grade Lady “Cats” will play again on February 3rd at home. The game starts at 6:00.

The Bobcat team did not fare as well as its female counterpart did. The game got away from the Bobcats boys in the third quarter, but up to that point it was a very solid game.

Riley Hice opened the scoring for the visitors, hitting a ten foot jumper for the first basket of the game. Kanyon Smith followed with a basket and was fouled, but the bonus free throw was no good.

Tied at 4-4, Hice hit the same shot he started the game with and put the Gilmer back in front. The Catamounts was able to convert on its free throws to end the quarter and Dalton held an 8-6 lead over Gilmer after one.

Josh White found Hice for two points to start the second quarter. Soon after, Tyler Queen hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 11-11, but Dalton soon answered with a three of its own. The Bobcats was moving the ball like a hot potato, passing quickly until someone came open.

This someone was Micah Butts as he recorded two points. That would do it for Gilmer as Dalton closed out the quarter with six unanswered points, and Gilmer trailed at halftime, 20-13.

The third and fourth quarter were tough ones for GHS, but the Bobcats did shoot better in the second half than in the first half. Ross Cochran, Austin Watkins, Kell Kiker, White, Butts, and Hice all contributed offensively in the second half, but Dalton’s offense caught fire and was tough to handle. Fouls and turnovers were also detrimental to the team in the second half as Gilmer lost 51-32.

Hice led the team with 6 points, followed by White and Butts who finished with 5 each. The 9th grade Bobcats will also play again on February 3rd at home following the completion of the girls’ game.

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