Bears Hold Off Mustang Girls
Hitting the road for their third straight Yadkin Valley Conference game, the North Moore girls’ basketball team hit a scoring drought in the final four-plus minutes of the first half at conference-leader Chatham Central Friday.
The host Lady Bears took advantage of the Mustangs lack of scoring, closing out the half on a 16-1 run, giving them a 38-19 lead. The hole was too deep for the Lady Mustangs to dig out of, even though they cut the lead to six points late in game. But Chatham Central was able to hold on for a 63-52 victory.
The loss dropped North Moore to 9-5 in league action and 12-9 overall. Chatham Central hangs on to their top position with a 12-2 conference mark and 17-6 overall.
Despite being down by 19 points going into the second half, the Mustangs refused to quit, getting another stellar performance from senior Shakorya Brower, who finished with a double-double, as she collected 17 rebounds and 22 points. Brower got plenty of help from junior Tiosha McCaskill, who added 15 points and 11 boards for the Mustangs. Fellow junior Jessis Sheffield helped in the Mustangs’ comeback, scoring five or her 12 points in the final quarter.
North Moore came out cold on the offensive end, falling quickly behind at 18-4 with 1:04 left in the first quarter. A three-pointer by Sheffield and a putback bucket by Brower trimmed the Bears’ lead to 18-9.
With Brower and McCaskill controling the boards, the Mustangs climbed to within four points with just under five minutes left in the half. That’s when the Bears went on their 16-1 run for the 19-point halftime lead.
“That run at the end of the first half really hurt us,” said North Moore coach Sammy McNeill. “Chatham Central is a good team with a good coach. I was pleased with the effort and the girls didn’t quit. I thought the officials did a good job.”
The Mustangs outscored the home team in the third quarter 13-10, with Brower scoring six points and McCaskill adding four.
Entering the final period trailing by 16 points, the Mustangs’ pressure defense started to pay off as they chipped away at the Bears’ advantage. With 2:03 left in the contest, McCaskill’s three-point play cut the lead to 58-52.
Then Brower fouled out of the contest and the Bears went on to outscore North Moore 5-0 over the remainder of the game for the 11-point victory.
Mackayla Brown and Brooke Strickland paced the Bears with 15 points each and Jordan Culberton added 13 points.
North Moor 9 10 13 20 — 52
Central 18 20 10 15 — 63
North Moore: Shakorya Brower 11 0-3 22; Tiosha McCaskill 6 3-7 15; Sheffield 4 3-3 12; Cadi Lowe 1 0-0 2; Holly Green 0 1-2 1. Totals 21 7-15 52.
Chatham Central: Mackayla Brown 7 1-4 15; Brooke Strickland 6 2-4 15;Jordan Culberton 5 3-5 13; Ashley Hudson 4 0-2 8; Ali Maness 2 0-0 4; Holly Gaines 1 0-0 2; Jasmine Thompson 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 8-18 63.
Three-point goals: NM 1 (Sheffield); CC 1 (Strickland).
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