ROCK HILL – Three Copperheads scored in double-digits as the Catawba Ridge boy’s basketball team pushed past Region 3-4A foe the Northwestern Trojans in a 62-47 road win Tuesday night.
Guard Zyan Hager and guard Grant Lovette both secured 19 points each, while guard Landon Foley scored 12 points and proved a nuisance all night for the hometown Trojans with his transition play. It was a winning formula for head coach Brett Childers, who praised his team’s transition play after the win.
“When we’re boarding and playing good defense, it allows us to get out and run,” he said. “That was the key to today, to control the boards. I thought that was key for us so we could get out and run.”
Catawba Ridge, which improved to 17-4 overall and 3-2 in region, pushed out to a 19-10 lead after the first quarter, thanks to two of Hager’s four 3-pointers, which complemented strong fast-break layups by Foley and guard Lance Barnes.
Northwestern’s small forward CJ Pope nailed an acrobatic layup midway through the second quarter that cut the Catawba Ridge lead to seven, forcing Childers into a timeout. But Foley soon erased that momentum with a well-timed trey of his own to hand the Copperheads a double-digit advantage.
Foley, who added seven rebounds, extended the visitors’ lead to 15 with consecutive behind-the-back layups as he, Hager, and Lovette, who had 10 rebounds, five assists, and two steals, all hit shots to power an 11-2 run to open the third quarter.
The Trojans’ William Brooks cut the Catawba Ridge lead to 11 in the fourth quarter when he nailed a 3-pointer and then went coast-to-coast with a dunk on back-to-back plays. But Lovette secured three of his eight field goals in the final eight minutes, all on transition plays, to hold the Trojans at bay.
“Grant stood out from a leadership standpoint,” Childers said. “That’s his role. He’s done that for all four years. I’m real proud of him.”
Catawba Ridge fell to South Pointe 57-53 in their first region matchup on Jan. 10. They will host them on Friday looking for some payback.
“We need to start faster,” Childers said, of Friday’s matchup. “We got off to a slow start (last time) against South Pointe. We didn’t have any pop. We know what’s coming now.”
Lady Copperheads finish strong
Point guard Makailah Davis led all scorers with 15 points, including three first-half three-pointers, to help the Lady Copperheads earn an important region victory on the road over Northwestern 44-37.
Davis knocked down two of her treys in the opening quarter to help Catawba Ridge, which is now 15-4 overall and 4-1 in the region, take an early lead during a 13-2 run.
Catawba Ridge led by as much as 12 in the third quarter, holding the Trojans to just one made field goal in the opening six minutes of the second half.
Buckets by Janyia Cunningham, Darby Grigg, and Alayah Ervin early in the fourth quarter helped Northwestern chip away at the visitors’ lead. Ervin’s transition layup capped a 6-0 run for the Trojans who suddenly trailed by just three with 2:44 left to play.
But the Copperheads clamped down on defense to close out the contest, while Tatum Postel, who scored 10 points, nailed two decisive free throws in the final minute to ice the victory.
Catawba Ridge next hosts South Pointe Friday, Jan. 27 before traveling to York 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31.
Catawba Ridge fell to South Pointe 62-55 in their first region matchup on Jan. 10.
“Friday is something we’re excited for,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Sheridan Pressley. “It’s the opportunity to play a good team. We get to go out there and do our job at home. We’ve got to make sure we take care of the basketball, win the rebounding war and keep them out of the paint as much as possible.”