Balanced Bears belt Lady Pride to advance to sectional finals

BY DON BEANE, News + Record Staff
Posted 3/8/19

BEAR CREEK — Cousins carried Chatham Central in the first half.

The whole team then took the Lady Bears the rest of the way.

Chatham Central cruised to a 61-45 triumph over the Henderson …

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Balanced Bears belt Lady Pride to advance to sectional finals

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Posted

BEAR CREEK — Cousins carried Chatham Central in the first half.

The whole team then took the Lady Bears the rest of the way.

Chatham Central cruised to a 61-45 triumph over the Henderson Collegiate Lady Pride Feb. 28 in second-round play of the NCHSAA 2019 Women’s 1A East basketball state playoffs in Bear Creek.

Counsins Maddy and Abby Elkins combined for 20 first-half points, tallying three buckets a piece in the first quarter to help Chatham Central to a 22-11 lead as part of what Lady Bears coach Lynda Burke called a much improved game.

“We came out and played much better tonight than in our first-round game in terms of shooting and being more aggressive on defense,” Burke said. “Although we committed too many turnovers, we took care of what we had to by breaking their press for a lot of layups, while our press was effective in helping us score a bunch of transition points.”

Mary Grace Murchison’s trey from the left corner to begin the second period put the Lady Bears up by 14 before three consecutive Aanlya Jackson layups drew Henderson Collegiate within 25-17 with 5:24 remaining in the frame.

But Maddy Elkins’ jumper off the right baseline a minute later sparked an 11-2 run that boosted Chatham Central’s lead to 36-19, an advantage that improved to 40-22 at halftime.

The Lady Bears’ advantage grew to 55-28 following Maddy Elkins’ layup with 1:31 to go in the third stanza prior to Antoniya Townes’ three-pointer from the right wing and jumper from the left side that sliced the difference to 22 entering the last eight minutes.

Although Chatham Central cleared the bench in the fourth quarter, the closest Henderson Collegiate got in the time remaining came when Parker’s layup at the horn accounted for the final margin.

The fourth-seed Lady Bears elevated their overall record to 21-3 and will next host a third-round match-up with fifth-seed Vance Charter School (26-2) Saturday evening, while the 13th-seed Lady Pride finished their season with a mark of 17-9.

Abby Elkins registered a 17-point and 10-rebound double-double for the winners while Maddy Elkins contributed 16 points and Murchison added 10. Chatham Central shot 25-of-63 (40 percent) from the floor, including three-of-six (50 percent) from three-point range.

Henderson Collegiate connected on only 17-of-63 (27 percent) of its field goal attempts, including just two-of-22 (nine percent) from behind the bonus arc.

Jackson led the Lady Pride with 18 points, Townes collected 13 points and a game-high 19 boards, while Hannah Yarborough chipped in 10 points.

Lady Pride coach Lauren Dennis said that, in spite of holding a 45-39 edge in rebounds, her team struggled to put the ball in the hole against Chatham Central’s swarming defenders.

“Their experience on the court showed with their quickness on defense and movement of the ball on offense,” said Dennis. “Our three-point attempts just weren’t falling this evening, and unfortunately we couldn’t figure out another way to score.”

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