MARIETTA -- Etowah closed out the final day of the Cobb-Cherokee Challenge with a 65-62 victory over North Cobb on Saturday at Walton.
It was a close-fought battle for a majority of the game, except for a 10-point Etowah lead in the second quarter. Still, the Eagles had the upper hand most of the way.
“North Cobb has got a very good team, and they have a very good coach,” Etowah coach Jason Dasinger said. “They did a lot of really good stuff on offense. I thought we gave up a lot of really cheap points and gave up a ton of offensive boards. Moving forward, if we want to be competitive in our region, we've got to box out a little bit better. It was a great game, and if we tighten up on some stuff, we have a shot.”
It was the second time Etowah had beaten North Cobb this season, following a 55-32 win in their first meeting Dec. 1.
Mason Etter scored 17 points, while Brandon Rechsteiner added 14 points and Brock Rechsteiner 11 to lead Etowah (7-5).
Tyler Gorsuch scored 21 points and Alex Acosta chipped in 15 for North Cobb (4-6).
Evan Daniel made one of two free throw attempts, and Gorsuch scored on a 3-pointer and a layup to turn a 13-11 Etowah lead to a 17-13 North Cobb advantage with 1:45 remaining in the first quarter.
However, Etowah regained the advantage with an 8-0 run to close out the quarter. Etter and Dmitri Angelakos hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Brock Rechsteiner scored off of an ally-oop pass to help the Eagles finish the first period with a 21-19 lead.
Etowah led 26-24 with 4:25 left in the first half when Etter and Josh Hughes scored on back-to-back layups, Dajuan Devonish made a layup and Brandon Rechsteiner nailed a jumper to complete an 8-0 run for the Eagles and give them a 34-24 lead with 1:56 to go.
North Cobb responded with a jumper and then a putback by Gorsuch, and the Warriors went on to cut Etowah’s lead to six -- 36-30 -- at halftime.
Etowah tried to pull away in the third quarter, leading by as much as eight points -- 42-34 -- with 5:19 remaining, but North Cobb stayed within striking distance, trailing 50-44 at the end of the period.
Once again, Etowah looked to expand its advantage as Brandon Rechsteiner began the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to give the Eagles a 53-44 lead with 7:00 left in the game.
However, a putback by Gorsuch and a 3-pointer by Acosta reduced North Cobb’s deficit to 53-49, and the Warriors stayed competitive the rest of the game.
Jaiden Neville stole the ball and drove in for a layup to give North Cobb a 62-61 advantage -- its first lead since the first quarter.
However, Brock Rechsteiner was fouled on a putback and then made his free throw for a 64-62 Etowah lead with 1:24 to go in the game, giving the Eagles the advantage for good.
“Etowah is a worthy opponent, and we already played them once, and we had to improve in some areas, so we played a better game the second time,” North Cobb coach Terry Gorsuch said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win, but we came up short.”