The Catawba Ridge girls’ basketball team earn a third Region 3-4A win against the visiting Northwestern Trojan Tuesday night with a 71-31 victory.
Senior power forward Morgan Davis led all scorers with 22 points, while freshman Taylor Reilly added 18 points and junior Addison Cunningham chipped in 15 points to help the Lady Copperheads.
With the win, Catawba Ridge improves to 5-15, 3-2 in region play, while the Trojans drop to 1-18, 0-5.
Catawba Ridge benefited from early steals, which led to simple fast break layups for Reilly and Cunningham. Cunningham’s 3-pointer, the lone trey of the contest, gave Catawba Ridge a double-digit lead at 16-6.
The Lady Copperheads outscored the Lady Trojans 20-1 in the second quarter to pad the lead. Back-to-back buckets between Reilly and Kyndell Haynes helped push the Catawba Ridge lead to 30 by the end of the third quarter.
“(The team) feels good,” said Catawba Ridge coach Sheridan Pressley. “They came out and played hard to respond. I definitely think the more we can let the defense set the pace for the offense, the better it’ll be. To get buckets in transition, that seems to work for us.”
Catawba Ridge boys continue to roll
Catawba Ridge coach Brett Childers said his team was making the right choices in the first half of Tuesday night’s game against Northwestern but wanted his Copperheads team to turn up the tempo in the second half.
“I challenged them to pick up the pace,” he said. “It got them going a little more.”
Childers’ team responded by outscoring their opponents by more than 20 points in the second half, leading to a 67-36 win.
With the win, Catawba Ridge improves to 18-2 on the season, with a 5-0 unbeaten region record. Northwestern drops to 10-11, 1-4 in region play.
Sophomore guard Lance Barnes (nine rebounds, four assists) and senior guard Zyan Hager (six steals, two assists) combined for 39 points in the one-sided victory, while senior guard Landon Foley (five rebounds, four assists) chipped in 11 points.
The teams started off with a very low-scoring first quarter. Hager hit an early three-pointer to kick off the contest, but neither team was able to threaten the rim for the rest of the quarter.
Northwestern was held scoreless for the opening six minutes. Hager and Barnes hit layups to gift Catawba Ridge a 7-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Copperheads extended their lead to 12-2, but the Trojans finally gained momentum with a couple of layups midway through the second quarter. Childers called for a timeout, and his team responded with back-to-back fast break layups through Hager and Barnes to stretch the lead back out to double-digits. By the end of the first half, the Copperheads led 18-8.
Catawba Ridge pushed its lead to 32-12, thanks to a pivotal 10-3 run in the middle of the quarter that included four of five baskets by Barnes. The highlight of the quarter started with a steal by Hager that he fed into Barnes under the basket, and Barnes couldn’t miss from under the hoop while driving.
“That’s one of the keys of the night,” Childers said. “It’s the way we want to play. You’ve got to get the board first, then you’ve got to get out and go. (Hager and Barnes) play well with each other, they’ve got a great chemistry together.”
The Copperheads then hit eight buckets in the opening five minutes of the fourth to extend their lead to 30 with three minutes left. Childers subbed out most of his starters soon after.
Childers said his team is a fun group to coach. He said his team has the potential to attack from a variety of different angles. The Copperheads also converted all seven of their fourth-quarter free throws to ice the win.
“We’re a tough team,” he said. “We get up the floor well, get out and run. A lot of teams say they like to run, but don’t actually do it well. We say we want to run and we can do it.”
The Region 3-4A schedule continues for Catawba Ridge as the Copperheads next travel to play South Pointe in Rock Hill Friday, before returning home to face York Comprehensive High School Wednesday, Jan. 31.