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Holy Innocents cruises GHSA 4A round one win behind defensive 'emphasis'

Holy Innocents' head coach Nichole Dixon discusses strategy during timeout against Cedartown

On Tuesday, the Georgia High School Association basketball state championship tournaments opened up and in girl's Class 4A action, the Holy Innocents Golden Bears hosted the Cedartown Bulldogs. Riding a 16 game win streak, the Golden Bears opened outscoring the Bulldogs 16-2 in the first quarter led by their defensive presence which forced several Bulldogs' turnovers and a solid performance from freshman Nakhai Worthy who would have 15 points and two blocks in the quarter.

The Golden Bears' pressure on both ends of the court continued well into the second quarter as they would increase their lead to 33 points as they took a 35-2 lead with 3:14 to go in the period and would eventually close out the half with a 43-6 lead. With the third quarter underway, the Golden Bears defensive intensity continued as they extended their lead to, closing out the quarter with a 73-21 lead. In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs' difficulties with the Holy Innocents' defense continued as the Golden Bears would go on to pick up the 88-23 win, advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

"It's been a point of emphasis all year long," Holy Innocents head coach Nichole Dixon said of the Golden Bears' defensive play in Tuesday's win, giving her players praise for their daily work ethics towards their defensive efforts. "The girls work hard every single day on all the little details on defense and we understand that defense travels," Dixon said. With the win, Holy Innocents will have the opportunity to host their second round matchup against Luella on Friday and Dixon notes that she and her players understand that as their run continues, they will not always be in the comfort of "The Den".

"At some point we're going to be on the road," Dixon said, noting that the Golden Bears will rely on their upper classmen to continue to lead their efforts. "I feel like our juniors and seniors lead the way with that and emphasize it in practice and the rest of our young kids, they just absorb it like a sponge and get after it," Dixon said. The Golden Bears were led by freshman, Nakhai Worthy, who led all players in scoring, with 22 points.


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