Charger girls beat Statesville, 43-41
By From staff reports
Published in Sports on February 25, 2011 1:47 PM
ASHEVILLE -- Two down, two to go.
And a chance to get revenge -- barely.
Statesville Christian missed a desperation 3-pointer as time expired and Wayne Country Day escaped with a 43-41 victory in quarterfinal-round play of the 2011 N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A girls' basketball playoffs Thursday afternoon.
The third-seeded Chargers (15-7) oppose second-seeded Oakwood in the semifinals today at 7 p.m. at Carolina Day School. The Eagles have won two of three meetings this season, including the Coastal Plains Independent 1-A tournament final just six days ago.
Early foul trouble caused Wayne Country Day to scrap its man-to-man defense and switch to a 1-3-1 zone. The strategy allowed the Chargers to turn a first-quarter deficit into a 23-17 lead over the sixth-seeded Lions (12-13) at halftime.
WCDS extended its advantage throughout the second half, but Statesville fought back in the fourth quarter. Junior guards Catherine Ford and Mack Thompson each picked up their fourth foul, and each played passive on both ends of the court.
"They had gone box-and-one on Cat and she wasn't fighting to get the ball," said Chargers head coach Eric Perry. "I think the foul trouble took away from her aggressiveness on both ends of the court, and Mack, too. They got a lot of second-chance shots."
Statesville's Kadijah Watts tallied 10 of her team-high 16 points off offensive rebounds in the final period. The Lions outscored the Chargers 17-13 during that span.
Ford ended the contest with 16 points, four rebounds and four steals. Point guard Sarah Best chipped in 13 points and four assists. Thompson provided nine points and seven rebounds.
Kim Martell collected three points, five rebounds and handed out two assists. Mollie McDonald contributed two points.
A victory over Oakwood puts WCDS in the championship game for the third consecutive year. The Chargers won it all in 2009 and finished runners-up to Word of God last season.
"We have to limit their (Oakwood) second-chance points and limit our turnovers," said Perry.
The Chargers are 3-3 in games decided by three points or less this season.
Wayne Country Day prevented Greenfield's sharp-shooting tandem of Sam Hughes and Aaron Roundtree from erupting offensively, but Jordan Sharpe picked up the scoring slack. Sharpe pumped in a game-high 22 points and the state-ranked Knights prevailed, 70-57, in quarterfinal-round play on the boys' side.
The Chargers (15-9) endured their third defeat against Greenfield within a 12-day period, and fourth loss overall this season. WCDS fell in the elite eight for the fourth straight year with head coach Terry Jones.
"We did a reasonable job of slowing Hughes and Roundtree down, but they had someone else step up and Sharpe led the way for them tonight," said Jones. "He knocked down five 3-pointers and a number of them were deep ... great shots, shots you wouldn't expect him to make."
Hughes and Roundtree scored 17 and 14 points, respectively.
The second-seeded Knights led 15-10 after one quarter and 36-22 at halftime. The seventh-seeded Chargers shaved the double-digit deficit to 53-45 after three periods, but could get no closer.
Jones said WCDS had some good, quality looks at the basket in the closing minutes of regulation, but the shots just wouldn't fall.
"That was really the difference in the game," said Jones.
Brandon McCarter just missed a double-double for the Chargers with 19 points and nine rebounds. Josh Gregory contributed 16 points and dished out six assists. Tyson Pearson collected 12 points, while junior guard Hil Tanner chipped in eight.
Aaron Forde hauled down six rebounds.
"We hung in there today ... played well," said Jones. "I was really proud of the guys. They gave a great effort. Our big four really stepped up and did some great things for us (this year). It's tough ending your season like this and only one team will end the year with a win.
"(But) the guys have gone above the expectations that even I had for them."
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