The Etowah varsity boys basketball team took home the Region Championship trophy for the third consecutive year after beating Cherokee 44-39.
Thank you for your support of our Eagles!
State Tournament begins February 15
Eagles complete region three-peat with win over Cherokee
Etowah's Jaxon Etter finished with game-high 19 points to lead Etowah to its third straight Region 4AAAAAAA championship.
CANTON -- Etowah built and early lead and held off a Cherokee charge in the second half to complete its Region 4AAAAAAA three-peat with a 44-37 win Friday.
The Eagles (16-9) stifled the Warriors’ (11-15) offense in the first half to lead 30-13 at the break, and while Cherokee was able to get within three points in the second half, Etowah never surrendered its lead.
As Cherokee struggled early, Etowah had little trouble getting on the board.
“It feels great, because high school basketball is about memories,” Etowah coach Jason Dasinger said. “That’s a memory those kids will never forget. They did what they always do. Holding a team to 13 points in the first half gave us a little bit of a cushion. We knew they were going to make a run in the second half, but defense hangs banners.
P.G. Forde made three 3-pointers in the first half to finish with 10 points. Jaxon Etter had 10 of his 19 points before the break, but things flipped in the third quarter, where the Warriors outscored the Eagles 16-5 to get within six points.
The quarter started with a 15-1 run by Cherokee thanks to improvement in the hustle stats that saw Etowah take a 7-3 advantage in offensive rebounds, a 6-4 edge in turnovers and a 13-7 advantage in free throws attempted in the second half.
“We played the early game (Thursday), but it took a little out of us,” Cherokee coach Roger Kvam said. “It took us a little while to get going. We had to take a timeout early just to gather ourselves a little bit. We knew we had a chance to do better i the second half, but credit to Etowah, they played great defense.”
Elijah Tucker led the charge in the third for Cherokee with eight of his 13 points. Thailand Owens added 11 points, and Zack Vickers made eight second-half free throws to finish with 11 of his own.
The run continued into the fourth quarter, with Cherokee getting as close as 40-37 with 2:00 to play, but the Eagles scored the final four points of the game to seal it.
“It says everything about those kids,” Dasinger said. “I was at a loss. I had no idea what to do, but those kids said they had it. That senior class won their third region championship, because they know how to win in those moments.”
Both teams will host first-round playoff games next week.
On Friday, February 1, Senior basketball players and managers were recognized between the Varsity Girls’ and Boys’ basketball games.
These outstanding student athletes have accomplished so much and given us four awesome years of basketball.
May the lessons you learned on the court carry you into your next chapter! We wish you all the best.
Senior players include Back Row: Matthew Lane, Alexis Dominguez, Bryant Madden, Olivia Heck. Front Row: Tori Ridgeway, Alex Carroll, Cherelle Birden, Alex Forde', Jaxon Etter
Seniors have a night out with the coaches
ROSWELL -- Etowah’s comeback attempt came up just short Tuesday in a 65-55 Region 4AAAAAAA loss to Roswell.
With the loss and Walton's win over Cherokee, the Eagles (12-9, 6-2) fell to the region’s No. 2 seed, while the Hornets (19-4, 8-0) clinched the top seed heading into the region tournament, but Etowah coach Jason Dasinger said the loss does not change this season’s goal.
“All we have to do is win one region game, and we’re in the same spot they are,” he said. “One of our goals was not to win a regular-season region championship. We’ve done that. Our goal is to win the region tournament, and we got better (Tuesday). Credit to them. They played a great game, but it’s going to help us moving forward.”
Roswell jumped out to an early lead thanks to a box-and-one defense that focused on Jaxon Etter and took the Etowah offense out of rhythm.
After scoring the first four points of the game, Etowah gave up 22 of the game’s next 25 and never led again.
“I have to do a better job of putting guys in a position to score,” Dasinger said. “I didn’t do that. They were taking Jaxon away, but we have 15 guys who can score on this team. It was poor coaching on our part.”
Etter finished with 10 points. Matt Lane also added 10, while P.G. Forde and Bryce Dotson each helped pick up the slack with eight points each.
The Eagles finally got their offense going after halftime with runs of 8-0 and 6-0 in the third quarter. Those runs included three offensive rebounds that resulted in six second-chance points in the frame to cut the deficit to 40-37 heading into the fourth.
“The kids played hard,” Dasinger said. “They always do. They worked hard, crashed the glass and made plays. Despite my bad coaching, they made plays. That’s why I love this team. If we bring that type of energy, I like our chances.”
Roswell was able to pull away again in the fourth quarter behind 21 points from George Pridgett and 19 points from Kolby Wade, but Dasinger said he expects his team to improve from the experience.
The Eagles will play again Friday against Woodstock, where Dasinger said he expects his team to continue to improve before it makes a run at its third straight region title.
“We still have everything in front of us,” he said. “We’re the No. 2 seed in the region. That gets us into the state tournament. That was a goal of ours. Hopefully we can get there as a region champion again.”
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
Here’s to our Etowah teachers!! We are truly grateful for your hard work, dedication and support!
Etowah Student Section - Thanks for your Support!
Varsity Players hit Longhorn for a pre-game meal
Future Board Meeting dates and times will be posted here.