Lady Chargers storm past Southern Lee

Northwood boys edge East Chapel Hill 51-49
Dec. 27, 2012 @ 10:46 PM

Northwood's girls basketball team jumped out to a 24-2 halftime lead and rolled to its sixth straight win, a 55-24 victory over Southern Lee, in the first round of the Lee County Basketball Shootout Thursday afternoon.

The Lady Chargers (6-2) held the Lady Cavaliers (3-7) scoreless for about 16 minutes of the game, from early in the first quarter until the 6:44 mark of the third quarter. Pressuring Southern Lee's best player was the key, said Northwood head coach Cameron Vernon, and he was pleased with how his guards followed the game plan.

"I thought we got after it really well defensively. (Brianna Taylor) is a really good player for them, so we wanted to pressure her and make it tough on her when she was handling the ball," Vernon said.

Northwood's backcourt did more than blank the Lady Cavs. Sophomore point guard Shontai Totten totaled 15 points and five steals. Senior wing Alexis Brower had 13 points and four assists.

Northwood's lead kept growing in the opening half as the Chargers off the bench didn't miss a step of the tempo or defensive pressure.

Youngsters gaining experience, and more players making contributions, has spurred Northwood's six-game win streak after starting out with losses to Panther Creek and Jordan-Matthews, Vernon said.

"After our first two games, things could've snowballed, but the girls have done a great job working to get better each day," Vernon said. "We have a young team but it's a team with lots of room to grow."

Juniors Tyeshia Baldwin and Marish Marrow scored six and five points, respectively, off the Lady Charger bench. Freshman forward Jasmine Atkins had a game-high nine rebounds.

The Lady Cavs found some offensive success after halftime, handling the ball better against the Charger defense and at least working their way to the foul line plenty of times.

Sophomore Jasmine McIver scored Southern Lee's first eight points and finished with 14 points, six rebounds and four steals. Brianna Taylor added seven points. In the paint, Ashley Owens had six rebounds and four blocks.

Boys - Northwood 51, East Chapel Hill 49

Northwood forward Jared Worley scored six of his 12 points for the last six points of the game, bringing the Chargers back for a 51-49 victory over East Chapel Hill in a first round game in Lee County's Main Gym Thursday afternoon.

Northwood advances to face Piedmont at 4 p.m. Friday in a semifinal. Piedmont defeated Cary 64-46 in the first boys' game of the day.

The Chargers (4-4), under first-year head coach and former UNC great Donald Williams, led most of the way after using an 11-0 run to take an 18-6 lead. Northwood's defense sparked its offense early on. Guard Aumad Walker turned back-to-back steals at midcourt into layups, then transition plays led to Ti Pinnix scoring on a drive and a three-pointer by Walker during the 11-0 streak.

The Wildcats (6-5) cut the lead down to three on a few occassions in the second quarter, including with Justen Best's three-pointer with 0:48 left. Those were the last points of the half and Northwood led 32-29 at halftime. Pinnix led the Chargers with 11 points in the half.

Another Best triple tied the game 1:05 into the second half. East Chapel Hill slowed the Chargers, primarily with a packed-in zone defense. The Chargers managed one made field goal in the third period but still clung to a 39-38 lead going to the fourth.

The Wildcats moved in front with a bucket in the paint by Jake Hilkey, then a three-pointer by Louis Levin, making it 45-41 East Chapel Hill with 5:29 left. The Wildcats led 49-45 as the clock ticked to two minutes left.

Worley grabbed a rebound and got a putback bucket, then got the ball in the post and hit a turnaround shot to tie the game with 1:43 left.

A Wildcat turnover sparked a now-rare Charger break. Kadarus Rone dished to Worley at the hoop for a lay-in and the Chargers led with 1:25 left, which was good enough the rest of the way.

East Chapel Hill missed two at the line with 1:09 left, then had two three-pointers miss the mark in the last 0:08.

Best led the Wildcats with 12 points. Dylan Farrow had 10 points and eight rebounds. East Chapel Hill will play Cary in a consolation game Friday at 4 p.m.

Pinnix had 14 points and eight boards for the Chargers. Worley scored 12 and Walker finished with 11 points.