BEAR CREEK — It’s not often you can shoot 17-of-73 (23%) from the field and turn the ball over two dozen times yet still come away with a win, but when your dominance on the offensive boards …
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BEAR CREEK — It’s not often you can shoot 17-of-73 (23%) from the field and turn the ball over two dozen times yet still come away with a win, but when your dominance on the offensive boards allows you multiple opportunities to score on nearly every possession, shooting percentage and turnovers can be overlooked.
After falling behind by six at intermission, Chatham Central capitalized on its height advantage to outscore mistake-prone South Davidson 22-2 in the third quarter en route to claiming a 49-40 Yadkin Valley 1A Conference triumph Friday evening in Gerald L. Binkley Gymnasium.
The Lady Bears snapped a two-game losing skid to even their overall record at 4-4 and improve to 2-1 in the league standings, while the Lady Wildcats sank to 1-6 for the season and 1-2 in the conference.
Mary Grace Murchison fired in five three-pointers and led the winners with 18 points, while Chatham Central commanded a whopping 44-29 rebounding advantage.
“Rebounds were one of the big keys for us tonight, as we had a horrible first half with 22 missed layups while our defense wasn’t playing well either, but we managed to stay close due to South Davidson missing shots and having a bunch of turnovers,” said Lady Bears’ coach Lynda Burke. “But I thought we came out more focused after halftime, and putting Kailey Green in at point guard freed up Mary Grace to play on the wing where she excelled from the perimeter. Olivia Hudson and Savannah Stilwell stepped up big in the paint in the second half to give us a lot of second and third-chance opportunities to put the ball in the hole, while we picked up our intensity on defense to shut down South Davidson’s scoring.”
Hannah Harrison tossed in a game-high 19 points for the Lady Wildcats, who connected on just 29% (13-of-45) of their field goal attempts while committing 32 turnovers.
“We got off to a decent start and trailed only once in the first half, but our lead should have been bigger except for unforced errors,” noted South Davidson coach Kim Frizzell. “Then we had a major lapse in the third quarter when we got away from our hustle and started turning the ball over while we couldn’t buy a basket, and that allowed Chatham Central to make a big run to take control.
“We did manage to regroup in the fourth quarter, moving the ball well and chipping away at their press, but by that time the deficit was just too much to overcome.”
Back-to-back Harrison treys to begin the game got the Lady Wildcats off to a 6-0 start before the Lady Bears trimmed the difference to 12-11 by the end of the initial period.
Murchison’s three-pointer from the left corner to open the second stanza gave Chatham Central its only lead of the first half prior to South Davidson using Carmen Duffy’s layup and a put-back in the lane by Heather Gallimore to regain the advantage. The Lady Wildcats then outscored their host 9-5 over the remainder of the quarter to go up 25-19 at the break.
But following a pair of Hudson free throws that offset Harrison’s put-back off the left baseline to start the third period, Murchison and Stilwell combined for 14 points while the Lady Bears used a 20-0 quarter-ending run to forge a 41-27 lead by the conclusion of the stanza, and the visitors from Denton never got closer than 15 over the last eight minutes until consecutive treys by Harrison and Kamryn Oakes in the closing seconds accounted for the final spread.