The Patriots defeated Model, 59-40, Sprayberry, 54-40, and Rome, 40-32, with Rome being the toughest team, but still not tough enough.
“We haven’t beaten Sprayberry in five years so that was a good feeling for the boys to be able to get a victory out of that game. Then we turned around and played Rome. That was an extremely tough game, very physical game. I guess we have a rivalry in Rome because it was a very tight game,” said head coach Anthony Cayetano.
During this tournament, Cayetano said he had some players which really stepped up for the team — 6-foot 4 Malachi Townsend, 6-foot-2 Dana Middleton, 6-foot Javante Williams, 6-foot-7 Raasean Davis, and 5-foot-10 Michael Hemphill.
“Malachi is doing a tremendous job across the board. He’s leading our team. Dana is one of our better defenders and all around ball players. Then we have Javante, Raasean and Michael. That group has been tremendous playing together,” said Cayetano.
While these five players did a great job for the team, Cayetano did say he has some other players that contributed big minutes and key points off the bench, including 5-foot-8 freshman Malik Rush.
With only two seniors on the roster the Patriots have to rely heavily on underclassmen to help out during the games as the team lost four of its five starters to graduation.
“It’s been a process. We’ve been rebuilding at Paulding County for the past few years. We set a plan in place to rebuild our program and we’ve got three really good classes and they’re finally able to compete on a varsity level,” Cayetano said.
The team has set goals for the season, including getting to the state playoffs and going undefeated on their home court. One thing Cayetano said would help these goals would be school support.
“I would like to see the student body attendance at home. We need that student body and we’re really going to push to get those students out here,” said Cayetano.