Lady Cavs advance to play Douglas Byrd
The Lady Cavaliers held Western Harnett without a made field goal for the last 12 minutes of the game and No. 2-seeded Southern Lee advanced to the semifinals of the Cape Fear Valley Conference Tournament with a 31-17 win Monday night on Cavalier Court.
The third Lady Cavalier win of the season over the No. 7 Lady Eagles was the third low-scoring contest they've played. Southern won 32-26 at Western in December and 35-30 at home three weeks ago.
Quick bursts of Lady Cavalier scoring proved enough of a cushion to turn the fourth quarter into a patient, even by Lady Cavalier standards, game of keep-away for the hosts.
Even a couple hoops in a row was enough to be a turning point. In the last minute of the first period, Brianna Taylor made a 15-foot jumper followed by Ashley Owens grabbing a rebound and scoring a putback at the buzzer for an 8-6 Lady Cavalier edge.
Taylor and Jordanna Kalkhof made three-pointers on back-to-back Cavalier trips suddenly taking Southern Lee's lead to 17-8 in the second period.
As long as the Lady Eagles stayed within striking distance, they were patient right along with the higher seed. The Lady Cavs went cold for the rest of the quarter and the Lady Eagles, led by forward Geena Bryant, who scored eight points in the first half, worked back within 17-12 at halftime. The Lady Eagles made it a one-possession game with Erin Bryant's jumper seconds into the second half.
Holding a 20-16 edge, the Lady Cavs rolled off a 7-0 finish to the quarter, ending with Taylor making a three-pointer at the horn. Now with a double-digit lead, the Lady Cavaliers had lots of reasons to hold the ball most of the rest of the way.
The Lady Cavs held Western Harnett scoreless for about nine minutes worth of the third and fourth quarters and a lone free throw was all they allowed in the final period.
Taylor led the Lady Cavaliers (13-11) with 12 points, four rebounds and the bulk of the ball-handling on their minute-plus-long possessions. Kalkhof scored six points on two threes. Inside, especially on the defensive end, Makenzie Cicogna had four points, seven rebounds and three blocks, all in the second half.
Geena Bryant led Western Harnett with 11 points and nine rebounds.
In Cameron Monday night, No. 6 Douglas Byrd upset No. 3 Union Pines winning 52-47, giving Southern Lee a date with Fayetteville's Eagles Wednesday night at Overhills. The Lady Cavaliers went 2-for-2 against Douglas Byrd during the season, winning 45-37 in Sanford in January and 37-25 in Fayetteville on Feb. 8.