Grizzlies curtailed, Lady Bears to tourney finals

BY DON BEANE, News + Record Staff
Posted 3/1/19

ALTAMAHAW — It’s always good to be playing your best come tournament time.

And that’s exactly what the Chatham Central girls are doing right now.

The Lady Bears continued to click on …

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Grizzlies curtailed, Lady Bears to tourney finals

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Posted

ALTAMAHAW — It’s always good to be playing your best come tournament time.

And that’s exactly what the Chatham Central girls are doing right now.

The Lady Bears continued to click on Wednesday night in the semifinals of the 1A Central Tar Heel Conference Tournament, starting fast and dominating host Clover Garden 62-47 in Altamahaw.

Chatham Central improved to 18-3 on the season, and was set to battle River Mill for the league tournament title on Friday night after winning the regular season championship a week before with a perfect 12-0 mark. River Mill, the No. 3 seeds and 24-8 on the season, upset No. 2 seed Raleigh Charter 54-40 in the semifinals.

“This team is playing its best basketball of the season right now,” said CC coach Linda Burke. “We are moving the ball around and seeing a lot of different players step up on the offensive end.”

That included Maddy Elkins on Wednesday evening as the senior player collected 10 opening period points en route to a 21-point outing.

Taylor Hughes and Abby Elkins chipped in four points apiece, and Cami Hughes and Mary Grace Murchison a basket each for the Lady Bears, which built a 22-10 lead after one quarter despite Lexie Roberts and Jaclyn Faucette collecting four each for the Grizzlies.

Chatham Central continued to dominate the action in the second quarter as Abby Elkins took over down low, pumping in seven points to ignite a 17-14 run which sent the locals in front 39-24 at the break.

Maddy Elkins added six points in the stanza for the Bears while Lauren Oldham and Murchison chipped in a basket apiece. Erica Burgess had five points including a trey for the Grizzlies in the period while Faucette also added five.

After the intermission, the scoring slowed down as both teams picked up the intensity defensively. Chatham Central would outscore Clover Garden 14-11 in the eight minute span to go up 53-35 entering the fourth.

Maddy Ekins canned five points for the Bears in the third, Abby Elkins three, and Taylor Hughes and Eliana Phillips a basket apiece.

Faucette added five points, including a three-pointer, and Roberts and Burgess chipped in three apiece for the Grizzlies.

In the fourth, Chatham Central would go without a basket, scoring all nine points at the charity stripe, including Murchison going 6-for-6, and Cami Hughes 3-for-4.

Faucette tallied eight points in the fourth for Clover Garden but it was far from enough as Central cruised to the 62-47 victory.

Abby Elkins added 16 points for Chatham Central in the win while Murchison closed with 10, Taylor Hughes with six, and Cami Hughes five.

Clover Garden (16-12) was paced by a game-high 22 points while Burgess contributed 10, and Roberts nine.

“I’m proud of the girls for coming in focused and ready to play,” closed Burke. “They have a chance to add a tournament title to a regular season title. So we have a lot to play for heading into the state playoffs.”

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