02/23/11 — Wayne Country Day girls eliminate Elon School

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Wayne Country Day girls eliminate Elon School

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 23, 2011 1:47 PM

Eager to erase memories of recent home losses, Wayne Country Day took out its frustration against Elon School on Tuesday afternoon.

And the Chargers also made sure Kim Martell's final contest on her home court was a success.

All-State point guard Catherine Ford poured in 19 points and backcourt mate Sarah Best added 15 in a 55-43 triumph over the Commodores during opening-round play of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A girls' basketball playoffs. The third-seeded Chargers (14-7 overall) continue play Thursday afternoon against sixth-seeded Statesville Christian at Carolina Day School in Asheville.

Martell contributed four points, 13 rebounds and five assists for the Chargers, who are making their fourth consecutive Elite Eight appearance. Mack Thompson contributed six points and seven rebounds, while starter Karis Hawkins tallied five points.

"We just wanted to show everyone we are able to play better than (last week) and we're better than what people think we are," said Martell. "Coach told us to be confident, not get down on ourselves and play our best."

The 14th-seeded Commodores (7-14) collected the game's first basket and the Chargers answered with a 15-2 run. Best and Ford did most of the offensive damage during that stretch, while Martell and Thompson hustled after rebounds and loose balls.

WCDS led 19-7 after one quarter and extended the margin to 35-16 by halftime. Elon, which plays in the Triad Athletic Conference, had more turnovers (11) than field goals (six) in the opening 16 minutes.

"The girls had a bitter taste in their mouth after losing the conference tournament championship (at home) and this is the first time they've had a chance to take it out on somebody," said WCDS coach Eric Perry. "They were real focused in practice yesterday and they came out (ready to play)."

The Chargers, who are 9-2 in the postseason since 2008, grabbed their biggest lead, 40-16, early in the third period. The Commodores went 4 1/2 minutes without a field goal and trailed by 20 heading into the fourth.

Point guard Caroline Kowalski heated up from behind the arc and buried three of her game-high five 3-pointers. She shared game-high scoring honors with Ford, while senior Holly Smith chipped in 16 points and dished out six assists.

Perry said his team play a little lackadaisical after building the big lead and benched his starters with five minutes left in the game. Mollie McDonald, Meredith Roethling, Margaux Pope and Taylor Sledge saw extended time on the court, while either Thompson or Best handled the point guard duties.