Lady Cavaliers rally to edge Chatham Central, 44-42
Southern Lee's girls basketball squad didn't start the Lee County Basketball Shootout as it wanted to on Thursday. How the Lady Cavs finished the tournament, with back-to-back wins in close games, could spur them on through the rest of the Cape Fear Valley Conference slate.
After a lopsided loss to Northwood in the opening round though, the Lady Cavs beat Northern Vance Friday and got late-game heroics for the last momentum swing of a wild game for a 44-42 win over Chatham Central in the fifth-place game of the tourney Saturday night. The victory gives the Lady Cavaliers (5-7) five wins in their last seven games.
Senior guard Brianna Taylor tallied 16 points, 11 rebounds, seven steals and five assists. Taylor's plays offensively and defensively saved the Lady Cavs after they were facing a 42-38 Lady Bear lead with a little more than a minute remaining.
Taylor drained a pull-up three-pointer from the top of the key and seconds later, swiped the ball at midcourt for a Lady Cav break. Erin Pickens grabbed the rebound after a Taylor miss and scored, putting Southern Lee up 43-42.
The Lady Bears, who themselves had rallied back from a 36-26 Lady Cavalier lead early in the fourth quarter, still had chances to regain the lead.
Turnovers, an empty trip to the foul line, and, with the Lady Cavs holding a 44-42 lead in the closing seconds, Jasmine McIver intercepted a Bear pass around the three-point arc and dribbled out the last three seconds.
Chatham Central (3-6) controlled the opening stages of play. Ashley Hudson's four-point play, as she hit a triple and got the free throw, was part of a 6-0 start for the Lady Bears.
The Lady Bears led 14-9 in the second quarter before a 9-0 Lady Cavalier run to close the half. Another big Southern Lee run led the way for a healthy lead going down to the last few minutes.
Back-to-back Taylor steals led to a hoop by McIver and one for Taylor and a 29-22 Lady Cavalier lead with 3:15 left in the third period.
McIver drained a three-pointer on the first possession of the fourth period for a 33-24 Southern lead. Jordanna Kalkhof hit a three on the next Cav trip for a 36-26 advantage.
Forward Kirsten Cole got Chatham Central back into the fight. She scored four points in a quick 6-0 rally, then made two free throws, earned after grabbing an offensive board, tying the game 38-38 with 2:57 left. Alli Maness got a steal and outlet pass to Jordan Culberson for a lay-up and the Lady Bears led 40-38 with 2:15 and counting.
Cole led the Lady Bears with 13 points, all in the second half, and eight boards. Hudson had 11 points and four assists. Culberson added eight points and nine rebounds.
Chatham Central returns to Yadkin Valley play with a trip to North Rowan Friday night.
McIver totaled 14 points and four rebounds for the Lady Cavs. Kalkhof had five points and Pickens added four points.
Southern Lee, with a 2-0 mark in conference, gets back to CFVC play at Union Pines Friday night.