Lady Cavs fall to Northern Vance, 39-33
Northern Vance took advantage of a short-handed Southern Lee squad, as the Lady Cavaliers were without two starters, for a 39-33 win in the first round of the Yellow Jacket Holiday Basketball Classic Friday afternoon inside Lee County’s Packard Gym.
Southern Lee was without point guard Jasmine McIver and guard/forward Erin Pickens as only seven Lady Cavaliers were ready for play entering the tournament, which continues today with eight games in Lee County’s two gyms. Northern Vance (2-7) will play Apex at 2 p.m. in Main Gym while Southern Lee (7-3) will play Union Pines at 2 p.m. in Packard.
With a patiently-played game, which the Lady Cavaliers normally like anyway, Southern Lee still had its chances down to the last couple minutes.
It took more than four minutes for a side to get on the board, with Northern Vance’s Brianna Nelson hitting a three-pointer. Center Makenzie Cicogna grabbed a rebound and scored on the following Cavalier possession.
Cicogna, who scored 17 points to lead the Lady Cavs, got the next two hoops and Southern Lee took a brief lead. Northern Vance moved ahead 10-8 going to the second period and led, though often by a possession or two, the rest of the contest.
Cicogna had nine points in the opening half, as the Lady Cavaliers trailed 19-15 at the break. The Lady Cavaliers made 1 of 11 three-point shots in the half.
Nelson drained two three-pointers in the first 1:15 of the second half quickly taking the Lady Viking lead to 25-15. Nelson finished with 12 points on four three-point baskets.
Southern Lee chipped its way back into the game, but a key run never came. Jordanna Kalkhof’s fast-break lay-up, off a steal and assist by Makenzie Overton made it 35-27 Northern Vance with 3:50 remaining.
Rachel Wilson’s three-pointer cut the margin to 37-30, at least on the scoreboard, with 2:22 left, then during a timeout a few seconds later two Northern Vance points were removed for a 35-30 score.
Ky’nyiah Landrum got a Lady Viking hoop, getting Northern Vance to 37 again. A 1 for 2 trip to the line by Kalkhof got the Lady Cavs within 37-31.
Resorting to trapping, and then fouling, as the clock ticked away, the Lady Cavaliers committed their first foul of the second half with 0:55 left, so putting Northern Vance on the foul line never became on option.
The Lady Cavs forced a turnover and had a chance to get the lead to three or four, only for a steal going the other way and a lay-in by Landrum with a little more than 30 seconds left.
Cicogna finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Kalkhof added eight points and Wilson had six points and six steals.
Southern Lee had a six-game winning streak, with a 2-0 start in the Cape Fear Valley included, entering the tournament.