Canes Demolish West Hall; Advance to Elite Eight


Photo Credit: Daily Tribune

Ryan McCrary and Thomas Smith

Who would have imagined that after losing many seniors from last years team including star point guard Jaylon Pugh that the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes would be back in the Elite Eight?


Well they are right back where they left off last year and once again the Canes are competing for a spot in the Final Four.


On Thursday February 21, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes dominated the West Hall Spartans 83-55 to advance to the Elite Eight.


The Canes were on fire in the first quarter as they started the game on a 9-0 run. After the fantastic start for the Canes, West Hall had to call a timeout just 1:22 into the game. West Hall climbed back into the game and made it 9-8  with 5:00 left in the first quarter. Luckily the Canes survived the hefty amounts of turnovers and pushed their lead to 19-9 at the end of the first quarter. Junior Micah Tart played fantastic defense, coming off of the bench, and helped the Canes go ahead by double digits.


The second quarter saw the Canes perform even better than the first. Senior Isaac Gridley was quiet in the first quarter, but used his size advantage to assert his dominance over the Spartans. Scoring machine Perignon Dyer showed off his range a few times and it was clear that no one on the Spartans could stop him or Gridley


The Canes had at least three and-ones in the second quarter alone, and they shot decently from the free throw line. Senior Austin Cauffman hit a three as time expired to give Cartersville a 43-20 lead going into the half. Micah Tart and Isaac Gridley were dominant in the first half as both scored 11 points.


The second half wasn’t much different from the first. The Canes started to play sloppy but picked it back up and retained their twenty point lead for a majority of the third quarter. Isaac Gridley continued to score at will, as the West Hall Spartans helplessly watched the 6’7” giant soar through the air and crush their hopes of winning a state championship.


Dyer stayed hot in the fourth and it looked like he might break twenty points. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to and finished just shy with nineteen points. Late in the fourth quarter, sophomore Amarai Orr got fouled hard on a fast break and crashed onto the floor. It looked bad and it seemed as if the Canes would have to continue their journey without their stud forward. Luckily he got up and could be seen smiling from the bench. He wasn’t the only one smiling as the Canes never let up and claimed an 83-55 victory over West Hall.


Isaac Gridley finished with 24 points, Dyer with 19, and Tart with 11 points of his own.


The Canes, with the help of a loud and cheerful Storm Center, have willed themselves into the Elite Eight. They’ll take on Carver High School as they try to make their first Final Four appearance in school history.