FORT MILL – With less than a handful of Region 4-3A games to go, the Catawba Ridge Copperheads got its first win over a 5A opponent with a 59-56 victory against the Rock Hill Bearcats.
The Copperheads (9-13) had four players in double figures and were led by sophomore Jacobie Henderson, who had 19 points. Carter Hendrick had 14 points and both Davante Gonzalez and Luke Krawczyk each added 11 points for Catawba Ridge.
More importantly for head coach Brett Childers, the win proves to Catawba Ridge, they can hang with any team.
“We have to go out and attain these things,” Childers said. “We have been talking about finishing games and we did that. We just built on our lead.”
Catawba Ridge has four more region games to make the playoffs. Both the boys and girls sit at 2-4 in the region and need two more wins to qualify. The Copperheads have to play Camden and Indian Land, both at home Jan. 31 and Feb. 4 respectively, and then travel to Keenan and Chester Feb. 11 and Feb. 13 to finish the regular season. They need to win two of those games to make the playoffs. Four teams from Region 4 make the playoffs.
“Four wins gets you in,” Childers said.
The two wins Catawba Ridge has in the region are both against Fairfield Central. The losses, except for when they played Chester, have all been by more than 15 points, so it could be a tough excursion for the Copperheads.
Against Rock Hill, Catawba Ridge shot over 50 percent from the field in the second half as they pushed a three-point halftime lead out to a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Copperheads outscored Rock Hill 17-11 in the quarter and then had to hold off a Bearcat rally in the fourth as they were outscored 25-19. Rock Hill (10-9) was led by Shane Blakeney who had 18 points.
Bearcat girls handle Catawba Ridge
Things seemed to be a lot harder for the Catawba Ridge girls as they fell 34-23 to the eighth-ranked 5A team in Rock Hill.
Neither team had a double-digit scorer, but Taylor Sibley led with eight points for the Copperheads and Dynasty Pichardo led Rock Hill (16-6) with seven points.
Turnovers plagued Catawba Ridge (12-10) most of the game, while Rock Hill took a 12-7 lead after the first quarter and cruised the rest of the game.
Like their male counterparts, the Copperheads are 2-4 in the region, but unlike them, their region wins have come against more than just one opponent.
Head coach Kate Edwards feels confident that her team can pick up two more win to qualify for the playoffs. Catawba Ridge’s wins have come against Indian Land and Chester, both of whom are struggling this year.
“We played well against both of them,” she said. “And we played well against Camden.”
Edwards said playing stronger competition like Rock Hill helps for getting over the hump against teams like Camden, which just edged Catawba Ridge earlier in the season 41-38.
“It reminds our kids we have to execute better,” she said.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM