Lady Cavs win with stretch run
Southern Lee's starting five played the whole game - all five playing all 32 minutes - in the Lady Cavalier contest against Franklinton Monday night, and the Lady Cavs were their best in the final few minutes for a 33-27 victory.
The Lady Cavaliers won the last 6:01 11-2 and Makenzie Cicogna's short jumper in the middle of the lane gave Southern Lee a 28-27 edge which put the Lady Cavs ahead for good.
In what was a patient pace throughout the game, the Lady Cavalier defense kept Franklinton without a hoop and Jordanna Kalkhof, normally the top Lady Cavalier shooter from long range, made her first three-pointer of the game to give the Cavs a 31-27 lead with 1:08 left.
Jasmine McIver's steal at the top of the Lady Cavalier zone, as the Lady Rams finally had no choice but to hurry, then McIver making two free throws with 0:47 left gave the Lady Cavs their final margin.
McIver led the Lady Cavaliers with 14 points to go with six rebounds and four steals. Her shooting, with a pair of three-pointers, sparked Southern Lee after the Lady Rams jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first 4:29.
The Lady Cavaliers stayed with their zone defense and stayed with their starters. Along with the pace of play, no foul trouble at all, as the Lady Cavs committed seven fouls for the game, allowed head coach Nate Woodruff to keep his starters in.
A McIver three-pointer made it 12-12 at the 4:17 mark before halftime and Rachel Wilson scored a three-point play, scoring off a dish across the lane from Erin Pickens and making the free throw, to put the Lady Cavs in front 15-12 with 2:07 left in the half.
Southern Lee led 18-12 at halftime but managed just two made free throws in the third quarter. Franklinton worked back to a 20-20 score going to the fourth and led 25-22 after Alexus Coles' three-point play. Coles led Franklinton with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Two McIver free throws gave the Lady Cavs a brief lead, 26-25, before a hoop by Coles, then Cicogna scoring for a 28-27 Southern Lee lead.
Once McIver's steal, fast break and two foul shots gave the Cavs a 33-27 lead, Southern Lee forced a Ram three-point shot. Franklinton didn't make a three-pointer all night. The Lady Cavs gathered the board and were allowed to dribble out the final 0:35 without a Lady Ram foul.
Cicogna, Kalkhof and Wilson had five points each. Pickens had four points and 13 rebounds, mostly being key defensive rebounds.
The Lady Cavaliers (2-2) get two more home dates this week before heading into the first stretch of Cape Fear Valley Conference play next week. Southern Lee hosted former CFVC rival Western Harnett last night, then will welcome Pinecrest at 6 p.m. Friday.