Eight different players scored for the visiting Eagles, who shot better than 50 percent from most of the first half, and that helped them generate a double-digit lead that held up for the rest of the game, a 56-47 victory Friday.
Cherokee (14-4, 5-3 Region 5AAAAAA) made its share of runs and cut the lead to six midway through the fourth quarter, but Cole Dotson kept the Warriors at bay by going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line down the stretch.
Porche led Etowah (10-7, 3-4) with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Shaughnessy finished with 12 points, Dotson had 10 points and J.T. Thompson ended up with nine.
“A lot of people think we’re a two-player team,” Etowah coach Don Hurlburt said. “We proved (Friday night) that we have more horses than Shaughnessy and Porche. Cherokee is a great team and we came in here and took it from them. This is a big win for Etowah.”
Cherokee came into the game off a win over region contender Milton on Tuesday, but it couldn’t keep the momentum going.
Jeremiah Gill led the Warriors with 18 points before fouling out in the last minute of the game. Jovan Morris was also in double figures with 11 points, and Christian Vines added nine.
The game was practically decided in the first half, as Etowah hit the bulk of its shots and Cherokee missed most of its attempts. The Eagles hit six 3-pointers in the first half alone, with six different players connecting from beyond the arc.
When Cherokee called a timeout midway through the second quarter, after Adam Hogue hit a jump shot to put Etowah in front 27-11, Etowah was shooting 61 percent (11-for-18) from the field.
But Cherokee began making a push early in the second half.
Etowah had taken a 38-20 lead after Porche converted a three-point play, only for Cherokee to end the quarter with a 13-4 run.
That still put Etowah ahead by nine points going into the fourth, but Cherokee had momentum. The Warriors cut it to six on three occasions in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles maintained their lead on the foul line.
“(Cherokee) made their run, but the kids didn’t panic,” Hurlburt said. “We believed in ourselves and the kids executed well.”
Etowah 58, Cherokee 54: Tori Janos scored 22 points for the Lady Eagles, helping them thwart a late comeback attempt in the fourth quarter.
Taylor Kimber finished with 15 points for Etowah (8-9, 5-2).
Cherokee (1-17, 1-7) got within three points at 47-44 with roughly 3:30 minutes left to play before Etowah went on a five-point run to put the game out of reach. Kimber made a free throws to start the run, Maya Opara-Nad followed with a layup and Janos delivered a layup with 2:25 left to put Etowah ahead by eight.
Lauren Ware scored 25 points to lead Cherokee.