CONYERS - John Mellencamp once wrote a song called "Hurt So Good."
On Tuesday night at Salem High School, Courtney Hurt showed just how good she can be, setting a school record with a 41-point performance in a 73-63 win over Cedar Shoals.
"She came to play tonight. She controlled the game," Salem girls coach Bill Roberts said. "I was very impressed with her second-half performance. A lot of her points were off second effort. She'd take a shot, and if it didn't go, she'd get her own rebound and put it back up. She had a lot of second-effort points, and I think that made the difference tonight. It was a new career high for her and new career high for the school."
Hurt added 12 rebounds to her 41 points.
The Salem boys were not as fortunate, falling 51-33 in the nightcap as Salem split the twinbill with Cedar.
The girls game was a game of runs, especially in the first half.
Salem opened the game with a 7-2 run, but Cedar answered with a 6-2 spurt to make the score 9-8. The Lady Seminoles then went on a 7-0 run to lead 16-8, but Cedar pulled within six by the end of the quarter.
Salem opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run, but Cedar came right back with a 6-0 run of its own to make it 24-18. Cedar pulled within two points midway through the second frame, but Salem regained its six-point lead by halftime.
The Lady Seminoles held on to their six-point lead in the third quarter, thanks largely to Hurt, who scored 16 of her 41 points in the third quarter. Salem went up by 10 in the final frame and never looked back.
Although the game belonged to Hurt, Roberts said it she wasn't the only one who made the win possible.
"Courtney played great. Still, it was not all Courtney tonight," he said. "Rebecca (Mitchell), Kentrell (White) and KelliAnne (Collins) came in and played well."
Ariel Wynter is another player who has proven to be a rising star with the Lady Seminoles. Wynter scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the win.
With the victory, the Lady Seminoles improved to 12-6 overall, and 4-1 in subregion play.
Meanwhile, the Salem boys fell to 7-11 overall and 1-4 in the subregion after losing a discouraging game to the Jaguars.
The Seminoles, who were playing without Zach Roddenberry, appeared to have the Jaguars right where they wanted them early - playing a low-scoring, defensive-minded game.
Cedar led 7-6 after the first quarter and 20-16 at the break.
But the Seminoles scored just four points in the third quarter as Cedar went up by 11. The Jaguars pulled away in the final frame as the Seminoles had to endure another tough loss.
"We didn't move the ball very well tonight and we weren't hitting shots," Salem boys coach Darren Wilkins said.
Wilkins said he wasn't going to make any excuses about the loss, but he did acknowledge having to play short-handed.
"Of course it would've been nice to have had Zach (Roddenberry) tonight. He's a difference-maker," he said.
The Seminoles were also without guard Alex Miller, who was on a college recruiting visit for football.
Both Salem squads play again Friday at home against Rockdale.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.