The Buccaneers accomplished their plan in decisive fashion, barreling past the Raiders 70-40 on Tuesday.
East Paulding didn’t quite know what hit it as Allatoona (5-0, 4-0 Region 5AAAAA) forced turnovers because of its defensive pressure and took command of the rebounding edge to build a 14-point lead midway through the first quarter.
The margin grew to 31-8 entering the second quarter and was 47-22 at halftime.
“We want to start fast,” Allatoona coach Markus Hood said. “That’s something that took time for us in our first couple of games this season, but this time, we started fast right from the tip and built on that. The guys did a good job with the press and our trapping defenses, and I think that caused (East Paulding) a lot of trouble. It kept them off balance”
Allatoona had two players score in double figures. Rodney Brown totaled a game-high 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Daniel Fowler contributed 16 points, seven boards, two assists and four steals.
Trey Tshimanga added nine points, Shamar Griffin eight and Bradley Brevet finished with six points, seven rebounds and two steals.
“The guys did a good job getting some steals and getting into the passing lanes,” Hood said. “They were very active. That got us up and down and in transition.”
Allatoona used several big runs in the first half to build its large lead. Fowler collected 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter, and Brevet scored all six of his points in the second quarter.
East Paulding’s Benji Hasanhodzic hit a 3-pointer early in the third period to trim the deficit to 49-27, but back-to-back field goals from Brown, a three-point play from Fowler and a layup from Tshimanga helped move the lead back up to 31 points at 58-27.
A putback from Holden Thompson left the Raiders trailing by 30, and Allatoona closed the third period holding a 64-31 advantage.
Allatoona outrebounded East Paulding 47-25.
“We preach to the guys in practice about crashing the boards for rebounds,” Hood said. “We get on them about that.”
Allatoona had such a comfortable lead entering the fourth quarter that Hood emptied his bench to give some of his younger players some much-needed experience. The unit played well, as East Paulding never got closer than 22 in the third quarter and 28 in the fourth.
“Those guys are the future of the program, so it’s always good to get them out on floor during a game,” Hood said. “I got all of them in, and the more playing time they get is better for the future of our program.”
Hasanhodzic finished with eight points, as did Dishon McNary, who also had five rebounds. DaQuanie Trice, who was scoreless in the second half, added nine points and two steals.
Allatoona 54, East Paulding 37: The Lady Buccaneers took a five-point lead into the fourth quarter before then outscoring the Lady Raiders 17-5 in the final period.
Allatoona lead 10-7 at the end of the first period and 24-17 at halftime.
Ann Madeleine Wilson scored 12 of her team-high 22 points in the second half, including seven in third period.
Meredith Tilton finished with 12 points, including six in the fourth quarter, and Brianna Middleton added 10 points.