The Arena on the campus of Catawba Ridge High was electric Friday night with a big fight feel between two top 10 hoop teams in 4A.
The No. 3 Catawba Ridge Copperheads edged No. 8 Lancaster Bruins 66-56 to improve to 21-2 overall and 8-0 in Region 3-4A. Catawba Ridge can lock up the region next week with a win.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Brett Childers. “We didn’t shoot well, but we played good in spurts. This was a playoff type game for us. This was great for us to experience.”
The Copperheads went up early 6-0 before Lancaster scored. Catawba Ridge was strong from the perimeter but started at a lot slower pace than the Copperheads usually play.
Lancaster was able to claw their way back into the game by the end of the opening period as Catawba Ridge led by three.
Both teams traded 3-pointers to open the second quarter. The Copperheads went on a small but meaningful run to go up by five at 22-17 after consecutive baskets by Zyan Hager. The lead didn’t last long as Lancaster scored five straight to tie the game.
Catawba Ridge again went on a 5-0 run despite struggling with their ball handling at times, yet the Copperheads led 30-27 at the half.
Lancaster opened the second half hitting a 3-pointer to tie the game. From there both teams started trading baskets, as Catawba Ridge tried to open the game up and create some distance. Lance Barnes hit a big 3-pointer for the Copperheads as part of an 8-0 run for Catawba Ridge.
The Copperheads led 52-40 after three quarters as both teams got a technical in the period after some feistiness from each team. Catawba Ridge outscored Lancaster 22-13 in the third quarter.
The Bruins opened the fourth quarter on a 6-2 run. The situation got intense for Catawba Ridge as Barnes fouled out with about six minutes left in the game. The Copperheads started the final period hitting just one of their first five shots. Catawba Ridge big man Brady Ambrose then fouled out with 3:13 left limiting the Copperheads even more so.
The Copperheads were able to keep their distance despite Lancaster being able to stay within 10 points. Catawba Ridge hit their free throws down the stretch to help ice the game as Hager led with 17 points and Barnes added 13 points in the win. Quh Webb also chipped in 13 points as well for Catawba Ridge.
Lady Bruins edge Catawba Ridge
A 3-pointer at the end of the game to win came up short for the Catawba Ridge Lady Copperheads as they fell 56-54 to the Lancaster Bruins Friday night.
The Copperheads fell behind early as Lancaster opened the game going up 6-2 before an early timeout.
Lancaster was able to get to the basket and get good looks in the first quarter. Catawba Ridge struggled with turnovers giving the Bruins extra possessions.
Lancaster took a 16-9 lead to the second quarter and kept their foot on the gas.
The Copperheads struggled with shooting missing shots at the basket as the Bruins extended their lead to 10 points with two minutes left in the half at 27-17.
Catawba Ridge went on an 8-0 run to get back in the game in those final two minutes and trailed 29-25 at the half.
The Copperheads made a surge in the third quarter to cut the Bruins lead to two at 34-32 with five minutes left in the period.
Lancaster scored the next two baskets to give themselves some breathing room. The Copperheads started sending Lancaster to the line often which benefited the Bruins as they drained all seven attempts.
Catawba Ridge again started the quarter strong to open the fourth pulling within one point at 42-41 with two minutes into play.
The Copperheads couldn’t get over the hump as Lancaster surged again going on a 6-0 run to put some distance between them and Catawba Ridge.
Morgan Davis helped to rally the Copperheads again as she brought Catawba Ridge back and tied the game at 52 with 27 seconds left. She led Catawba Ridge with 26 points in the game.
Lancaster hit a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds to ice the game for the Bruins. The Bruins were nearly perfect at the foul line missing just two free throws in the game and going 15-for-15 in the second half.
The Copperhead squads play at Indian Land High School Tuesday, Feb. 6.
Feb. 2 Roundup
The Nation Ford Falcons basketball teams split with Rock Hill Friday night. The Lady Falcons fell to Rock Hill 77-45 to drop to 0-8 in Region 3-5A and 10-13 overall on the season. The Nation Ford boys won 63-53 to improve to 5-3 in the region and 12-11 overall.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @fortprep