By DARRIN SMITH
The Indians fell for the second night in a row in the Dalton Tournament last Wednesday to finish the tournament in fourth place. In the third round contest, Chattooga faced off against (2-2) Morristown-Hamblen East from Tennessee and came up short 67-57.
The Hurricanes jumped out to an early lead 17-12 through the first and never looked back. The Indians offense stepped up in the second but so did Morristown’s as they again outscored the Indians 18-16 to take a 35-28 lead to the half. In the third, the Indians matched point for point as both teams added 15 to send the game to the fourth with the Hurricanes still up by seven. In the fourth, the pace stayed constant for both schools as the Indians added 14 more but the Hurricanes added 17 to seal the win and take home third place in the tournament. The loss puts the Indians at 1-2 on the season with both losses coming to Tennessee teams.
When I reflect on our games, regardless of the outcome, I make a list of areas in which we need to improve,” Coach Jared Groce told The News. “I believe that as long as that list doesn’t include effort, then we should be able to fix the rest. I think we played a lot better tonight, but the ball just wouldn’t go in the hole. With only one practice, our football players haven’t gotten a lot of shooting practice. We went 3-for-14 on free throws and 6-for-25 on three-pointers tonight. That’s not going to win you too many games.”
“We also just aren’t in shape yet, and that limits what we’re able to do on defense and transition offense,” Coach Groce continued. “It was a great experience for our team to come to Dalton for this tournament and play these really tough teams, most of which had already begun playing games before the tournament began. I think it’s important to play tough teams that give you the opportunity to see your weaknesses. As they say, iron sharpens iron. We could have played in a tournament against smaller schools and potentially be 3-0 right now, but we may not have improved in the process. I think we’re better for having played these games, and that’s all that matters right now. I hope that this will serve as a humbling experience that makes our boys focused and hungry for improvement.”
Three Chattooga players finished in double digits with Jundraius “Nuk” Adams leading the squad with 15 points. Malachi Mack and Jamarious Mosteller each finished with 11 in the loss.
The Indians host Rockmart tomorrow night. JV begins at 4 p.m. with varsity starting at 7 p.m.