The Eagles (4-0) stayed perfect with the win, and they were able to do what they did in last Friday's win against the Rebels (1-5).
"It was about the same story as the last time we played them. We turned the ball over, we weren't really rotating defensively and they got hot in the first half," Marinelli said. "The way they've been doing, our kids responded well. There's no quit in any of them. They fought all four quarters."
The offense didn't really get going for HC until the second quarter, where it erupted for 17 points to make it a four-point game at halftime after trailing 14-5 after the first quarter. The Rebels then kept it close in the third quarter before running out of steam at the end.
It was the 3-ball that kept the Rebels in the game in the second quarter, as Jake Carnes nailed three from beyond the arc and Luke Richards added another. But foul trouble and turnovers toward the end stopped any comeback attempts.
"We turned the ball over too much, couldn't make shots down the stretch and got into some serious foul trouble in the fourth quarter. We've got to get better at taking care of the basketball," HC coach Kenny Walker said. "I know that they play as hard as anybody, and everybody we play comments on that, how hard they play. If they continue to do that, the results will eventually come."
It is the play of guards Tayon Farmer and Matt Turner that continue to pace the Eagles. Farmer led with 19 points, while Turner added 13 in the win. Jason McCubbin and Corey Loftin had six points each.
When Farmer and Turner get things going, it works right into Marinelli's game plan and flows over to the rest of the team.
"It keeps the tempo of the game up, and that's what we need to be successful. Then with the pressure they put on defense, that's the style that we've become accustomed to. That helps the whole moral of the team, as far as keeping the intensity going and keeping the pace up where it needs to be. Those two do a lot for us," Marinelli said.
The Rebles took a brief one-point lead midway through the third quarter to go up 29-28 after a Nii-Okai Reindorf bucket, but the Eagles ended the quarter on a 10-0 run to help put the game away.
Carnes led HC with 11 points, while Lane Fortune added eight in the loss.
There is some good news coming, as the return of 6-foot-6 Seth Neeley from a leg injury he sustained during football season. Walker expects the senior to be back in the lineup either this weekend or early next week.
Mt. Zion girls 51, Haralson County 12: A balanced offense and a stingy defense combined to net the Lady Eagles (4-0) their fourth win in as many games this season.
Mt. Zion had seven players score at least four points, as it defeated the Rebelettes (2-4) for the second time in five days.
"Anytime you hold somebody to 12 points, you're playing pretty good defense. We still have a ways to go, but we had eight or nine girls that contributed [Tuesday], and that's good. We got a lot of experience from our bench," MZ coach Bill Bailey said.
The offense never got going for Jane Williamson's squad, as they were held to 10 points at the half, scoreless in the third and just two points in the fourth quarter. With a young team, it is a little bit of a roller-coaster ride for the HC coach.
"They didn't execute, we didn't move on the court. Anything you want to name, we didn't do it. We played well against Cleburne [County], we played well against South Paulding," Williamson said. "Our kids just didn't execute on what they're supposed to do ... [Mt. Zion] was so aggressive and we had three freshmen out there at times. They're learning, and sometimes they get out and play well and sometimes they don't play so well."
There were no offensive struggles for the Lady Eagles, especially the combination of Jennifer Bagby and Jordan Crews. Bagby led the game with 12 points and added six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Crews scored 10 points and had three assists — all down low to Bagby.
"I thought Jennifer Bagby had a big game again. She's getting better every game. Jordan Crews had a big game. Alexis [Jordan] came in the second half and I thought she played lots better. Overall, I was proud of our girls. They played hard," Bailey said. "Madison Barrow came off the bench and made some shots, Brittany McIntosh came in and hit some 3's. I felt like everybody that came in contributed at least eight deep."
Quavadis Kirk scored seven, McIntosh, Barrow and Toni Hammond had six points each and Jordan added four points after getting into foul trouble early in the game.
Leading the Rebelettes was Jada Ross' five points, with Mahogany Harris adding three points. Skye Overby led the team with seven rebounds.
The wins, no matter how they come, are even more important this season with the Lady Eagles not only dealing with a region schedule in January, but also the Class A public school power rankings.
"We're a young basketball team. Out of our top eight, we have one senior, two juniors and five sophomores. We're a young team, and to be 4-0 is a lot better than 0-4 because wins build confidence," Bailey said. "It's big in Class A, because with the power rankings and stuff, if you get beat, it better be to a powerhouse."
Looking to stay perfect on the season, MZ will match up against old region foe Bremen at home on Friday night at 7 p.m.
"We've got two tough games coming up this weekend. We've got to step it up. We're playing Bremen Friday and Bowdon Saturday. That's two big rivalries. That's two teams we always want to play hard against and they always play hard against us," Bailey said.
The Rebelettes will look to bounce back, as they have done before this season, and will travel to face Bowdon at 7 p.m. on Friday.
"We got pelted by Bowdon and Mt. Zion the first time, then they turned around and beat Cleburne County. So they've recovered real well. I can say that. They've bounced back real well from the losses. We tried our best," Williamson said.