SILER CITY — In a battle for fourth place in the PAC 7 2A Conference standings, Kennedy Powell fired in 26 points while Wheatmore seized the lead for good two-and-a-half minutes into the contest …
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SILER CITY — In a battle for fourth place in the PAC 7 2A Conference standings, Kennedy Powell fired in 26 points while Wheatmore seized the lead for good two-and-a-half minutes into the contest and cruised to a 64-50 victory over Jordan-Matthews Tuesday evening in Frank N. Justice Gymnasium.
Gaining a split in the season series, the Lady Warriors improved to 11-12 overall and 6-5 against league rivals to solidify their hold on the fourth spot in the conference, while the defeat relegated the Lady Jets (9-14, 5-6) to fifth place with both teams having one regular-season game remaining.
Sisters Taylor and Kara Comer chipped in 10 points each for Wheatmore, which connected on 49% (25-of-51) of its field goal attempts.
Jocelyn Mitchell topped J-M with 19 points while Ellia Wright added 11 as Jordan-Matthews shot 30% (16-of-53) from the floor.
“We did a great job defensively tonight but we should have rebounded better,” stated Lady Warriors’ coach Pete Kilcullen, referring to the fact the Lady Jets held a 35-32 advantage on the boards.
“Sophomore center Kennedy Powell has come a long way since the first half of the season learning how to consistently finish around the basket, while freshman guard Kara Comer continues to give us great play off the bench with her floor leadership.”
J-M coach Mel Dark remarked inconsistency on defense played a big part in her team’s loss.
“We need to do a better job communicating on the court, improving our help-side defense and picking up in transition,” said Dark.
“I thought we started out well but then lost focus on the things we wanted to do. We need to understand what the competitive edge is when the game is on the line.”
Following several lead changes at the outset, Wheatmore went ahead to stay 6-5 on Powell’s put-back off the right baseline with 5:32 to go in the first period that sparked a 10-0 Lady Warriors’ run.
After a Mitchell trey and Avery Headen’s conventional three-point play brought Jordan-Matthews within 14-11 with 1:01 left in the opening quarter, the winners closed out the frame with a pair of Kara Comer free throws and Kylie Biggs’ jumper from the left wing to fashion a seven-point advantage.
Back-to-back Wright lane jumpers plus a Jasmine Scotton foul shot to begin the second stanza pulled the Lady Jets within two before Powell tallied eight points during a 15-6 quarter-ending run that boosted Wheatmore’s lead to 33-22 at intermission.
Following Ashlyn Ray’s layup with 4:45 left in the third period that sliced J-M’s deficit to 34-27, Kara Comer and Powell combined for 10 points as the Lady Warriors used a 12-4 burst to finish out the period and extend its advantage to 15 entering the final eight minutes.
Taylor Comer’s fast break layup with 6:14 to go in the contest gave Wheatmore its biggest lead of the night at 54-37 and Jordan-Matthews could never reduce the margin to less than 10 the rest of the way.