Cartersville hopes tougher schedule means deeper run

Cartersville coach Mike Tobin is hopeful that his decision to play a tougher schedule this season will benefit his team once the playoffs arrive.

The Hurricanes have a lock on the Region 5-AAA regular season championship, but don’t want to suffer the embarrassment of another premature post-season exit.

Cartersville, which travels to Coahulla Creek tonight, is 18-2, 11-0 in league play. Its only two losses have come against Class AAAAAA No. 6 Hillgrove and Class AAAAA No. 1 (and undefeated) Allatoona. Cartersville was involved in a one-point game against Allatoona before losing 66-60 and squandered a six-point lead in overtime against Hillgrove in a 71-70 loss.

“We played a much tougher non-region schedule,” said Tobin, whose team is 44-4 over the last two years.  Cartersville has won nine in a row, tying it for the longest active streak in AAA.

This season the Canes are averaging 78 points and allowing only 48. Tobin said, “The strength of our team is unselfish play.” Cartersville had 27 assists on Friday against Adairsville.

The team is built around two seniors: Corey Tobin and Ryan Davis, who each surpassed the 1,000-point mark this year.

Tobin, the son of the coach, is averaging 18.8 points. He’s deadly from 3-point range; he’s made 70 this year and is shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc. He also leads the team in blocks and defensive rebounds, averages 3.3 assists and shoots 80 percent from the line.

Tobin was the MVP of the Rome News-Tribune Tournament and has been on the winning team of that event the last four years – the first two when he was at Woodland and the last two at Cartersville, when he joined his father.

Davis is averaging 17.1 points and leads the team in assists (6.7) and offensive rebounds. He has 1,163 career points and was named the Northwest Georgia Tipoff Club’s 2012-13 Player of the Year.

Cartersville is also getting outstanding play from A.J. Mosby, who averages 14.8 points, 4.5 assists, a team-leading 3.3 steals and shoots 86 percent from the line. Power forward Hunter Benham is a tireless player who averages 9.6 points.

In big games tonight …

Region 6-AAA girls: No. 2 St. Pius puts its 54-game regular-season region winning streak on the line at Decatur. A win would essentially clinch first place for the Golden Lions. Junior Asia Durr scored her 1,500th career point last week against Towers.

Region 8-AAA girls: Franklin County hosts North Oconee in a key game. Franklin (16-5) is 9-1 in the league, while defending champion North Oconee (15-6) is 7-3. Both trail No. 6 Morgan County (16-2, 10-1).

Region 4-AAA boys: Douglass (14-4, 8-1) will have its hands full with B.E.S.T. Academy (8-11, 6-2). The Astros have won two straight, including Friday's 74-71 decision over Callaway. Douglass prevailed 88-84 against the Eagles on Jan. 10, but B.E.S.T. has since won six of its last seven and could create a three-way tie for first win a victory. B.E.S.T. is led by Demarius Howard (16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds) and forward Octavious Tolden, who averages eight rebounds.

Be aware that weather conditions could affect the Tuesday night schedule. Typically when a school system cancels class, it also cancels any extracurricular activities.