Lady Cavs pull past Gray’s Creek
Facing another team on a four-game winning streak, Southern Lee didn’t lead for much of Friday night’s Cape Fear Valley girls basketball game versus visiting Gray’s Creek.
The Lady Cavaliers (6-2, 2-0) led when it mattered, then made it look simple keeping their lead safe in the last few minutes, for a 53-40 win and a 2-for-2 first week of conference play.
Gray’s Creek (4-4, 1-1) made for a much bigger test than was Douglas Byrd in Southern Lee’s 47-point win on the road Tuesday night. The Lady Bears jumped out to a 9-2 lead thanks mostly to Jalyn Taylor making three baskets and a whole bunch of rebounding.
The Lady Bears out-boarded the Lady Cavs throughout, finishing the game with a 48-32 advantage. In the opening half, the Lady Bears made their rebounding pay off for second, third and fourth shots per possession.
Jasmine McIver’s drive to the hoop for a three-point play cut the Lady Bear lead to 15-10 in the middle of the second period. LaKadria Singleton answered with a three-pointer and Gray’s Creek held a 22-15 halftime lead.
The Lady Cavs opened the second half hot, with McIver hitting a three-pointer and Makenzie Cicogna scoring a hoop in the paint, quickly getting within two points in 0:45 of play.
Jordanna Kalkhof’s three-pointer cut the Lady Bear lead to 30-29. Taylor finished a Lady Bear break with a lay-up, but the Lady Cavs scored the next four points, Rachel Wilson made a 15-foot baseline jumper and Cicogna was fouled following an offense rebound and made both free throws, for a 33-32 lead with a little more than a minute left in the third period. The Lady Cavalier run continued and they led 37-32 at the end of the period.
Holding the lead, though only a 41-37 edge, as the clock ticked under four minutes, the Lady Cavalier offense spread the floor and patiently took care of the ball. Gray’s Creek zone made things tough most of the game for the Lady Cavs, but now it worked in the home side’s favor.
One long Cavalier possession led to Wilson dishing to Cicogna for a lay-up and a 43-37 Southern Lee lead with two minutes left.
Cicogna scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but fouled out with 1:43 remaining.
Briana Holcomb replaced Cicogna and immediately made a key play, getting an offensive rebound, getting fouled and making two free throws for a three-possession lead, 45-38, with 1:23 left.
The Lady Cavaliers remained steady at the foul line the rest of the way to stretch their lead. McIver, who also finished with 15 points to go with five steals, was 6 for 8 at the foul line in the second half. Southern Lee was 17 of 25 (68.0 percent) total.
Taylor led Gray’s Creek with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Taylor Powell had eight points and 17 rebounds.
Wilson totaled nine points, eight rebounds and four steals for the Lady Cavs and Erin Pickens had six points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
After beginning Cape Fear Valley play, the Lady Cavaliers don’t go back to league play until 2014. Southern Lee will play at Western Harnett at 6 p.m. Wednesday and will be in the Lee County Christmas Tournament beginning Dec. 27.