Lady Jackets roll past county rival
The last afternoon of the Yellow Jacket Holiday Basketball Classic provided an unscheduled Brick City rivalry meeting. Lee County took round one of what will be at least three rounds versus Southern Lee Monday afternoon with the Lady Yellow Jackets jumping out to a big lead and going on to a 51-33 victory.
Lee County (5-8) led 10-1 a little more than two minutes into the game and 20-6 at the end of the first quarter. Finishing the tournament with a win, after two defeats, should provide multiple lessons as most of the Cape Fear Valley season is still ahead.
Three games in four days gave all the Lady Jackets a good amount of playing time, and experience, said head coach Ike Godfrey.
The Lady Jackets' energy and effort picked up, Godfrey said, and they have to keep that going no matter the opponent.
"We'd had a little slump. Our rebounding and our scoring had sort of fallen off, but it was mostly about us. We got a little energy going today," he said.
"Southern Lee did a great job, especially short-handed like they were, so we realized that. At the same time, I think our effort was better than it had been."
The Lady Cavaliers (7-5) had one player back, reserve guard Britta Bowers, but like the first two tournament games, the Cavs were still without two starters.
Jordanna Kalkhof made six three-pointers and totaled 21 points. Three of her triples came in Southern Lee's 11-6 edge in the second quarter, trimming Lee County's lead to 26-17 at halftime.
Lee County jumped in front thanks to a fast pace and lots of defensive pressure. Shantel Bennett made a driving lay-up, then a three-pointer, in the opening run and Jasmine Person's three-pointer from the top of the key made it 10-1.
In the third period, Lydia Cooper's steal led to Bennett running the floor, spinning in front of the hoop and tossing in a right-handed scoop for a three-point play making it 35-20 Lady Jackets. A few moments later, Cooper sank a 15-foot jumper, then got another steal and went in for a lay-up making it 41-20.
Bennett led Lee County with 14 points, six assists and five steals. Person had 13 points, seven coming in the first quarter, and had five rebounds. Quitta Wilson had nine points, five assists and five rebounds.
"It's a process and we're learning," said Godfrey. Lee County has one senior, Wilson, on its varsity squad.
"It's about getting a little better, and a little better each week," he said.
Center Makenzie Cicogna had 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the Lady Cavs. Rachel Wilson had seven rebounds and six assists.
Lee County will host Pinecrest at 6 p.m. Monday before going back into CFVC play at Terry Sanford on Jan. 10. The Lady Jackets are 1-2 in the CFVC.
Southern Lee, 2-0 in the CFVC, travels to play Union Pines, 3-0 in the conference, on Friday at 6 p.m.