Coach Phyllis Arthur was pleased to have a victory, but still expects more from her squad.
“We were a little bit rusty at first,” Arthur said. “I knew we were going to be rusty because we haven’t played in 10 days, so we had to come and get the cobwebs out of our legs.”
McEachern’s “rusty start” was still good enough to build a 22-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Marietta did open the scoring, but the Lady Indians scored 12 unanswered points before Marietta’s next basket.
The Lady Indians led at half 40-17, with all five starters contributing to the scoring. Te’a Cooper led McEachern with 17 points and Taylor Gordon added 16.
The pace slowed in the third quarter, with Marietta outscoring McEachern 10-8 in the period. Asia Blu Wilson finished with a team-high 13 points.
Arthur pulled her starting lineup just before the 4-minute mark in the fourth quarter, with a lead in excess of 20 points.
With the victory, McEachern will take on fellow Powder Springs rival Hillgrove in the Region 4AAAAAA championship game today.
“Things worked out in our favor, and we just have to get ready to come back and play Hillgrove tomorrow and turn it up a notch,” Arthur said. “We’re always glad to play a rival in a big game. It’s a love-hate relationship we have with them, and we’re glad to be in it.”
Marietta will take on North Cobb for a chance at the region’s No. 3 seed in the state tournament. Coach Ken Sprague showed disappointment in the loss to McEachern, but is comfortable with his team going forward.
“We need to compete better,” he said. “We didn’t compete. We came out and looked at McEachern as something more than they are. I think the girls will respond though in (the next game) and we’ll be alright. I’m not worried about traveling in the first round (of the state tournament). If we do what we’re supposed to do, we should win in the first round.”