Mustangs Girls Fall to Bears in Semis
The North Moore girls’ basketball team already secured a berth in the upcoming state 1A basketball tournament as the Yadkin Valley’s number four seed. But the Lady Mustangs were hoping to improve on their seeding by winning the league’s tournament.
The conference’s tournament winner, if not the regular-season champ, receives the league’s second seed and a very likely home playoff game in the first round of the state tournament.
After beating North Rowan in the opening round of the conference tournament, the Mustangs had to tangle with regular season co-champion Chatham Central in the semifinals of the tournament held at East Montgomery Wednesday.
In a game where neither team led by more than eight points, the Lady Bears used an 16-for-31 effort at the charity stripe to knock out North Moore from the tournament by a 59-55 score. The Bears had a big advantage at the foul line in the final period, going to the line 15 times while the Mustangs had only six attempts from the free throw line.
Chatham Central moves to the championship game against the winner of the co-champion South Davidson and third seeded West Montgomery game played Thursday. The championship game is scheduled tonight at East Montgomery with a 6 p.m. starting time. North Moore now has to wait for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s pairing due out sometime Saturday. The first-round games are scheduled to be played Monday and second round games Wednesday.
After trailing 16-10 at the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs, behind the double-double tandem of Shakorya Brower and Tiosha McCaskill, used a 10-0 run in the second period to take a 20-18 lead with 3:55 left in the half.
The two teams swapped buckets over the rest of the period with the Mustangs holding a 26-25 lead at the break. Brower finished the game with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while McCaskill added 13 boards and 12 points.
While North Moore was taking control of the game, Brower and Tyisha Horn picked up crucial third fouls that the effects of would be felt later in the contest. Brower’s third foul came with 4:11 left in the second quarter and Horn picked up her fourth foul less than a minute later, putting both players on the bench for the remainder of the opening half.
With two of their starters sitting on the bench, the Mustangs managed a 26-25 lead at the break. The third period saw the Mustangs come out fast, eventually taking an eight-point lead with 3:08 left in the quarter.
While the Mustangs were padding their advantage, Brower picked up her fourth foul with more than five minutes left in the quarter. With McCaskill and Horn getting loose for some buckets and junior Jessie Sheffield bagging a three-pointer, the Mustangs held a 41-36 lead going into the final quarter.
The fourth period opened with Sheffield collecting a steal for an easy layup, putting North Moore up by seven points. Then the Bears went on a 10-2 run, giving them their first lead since the 3:02 mark of the second quarter.
Now it was the Mustangs’ time to go on a scoring run, reeling off the next six points for a 51-46 lead with 2:48 left in the contest. Chatham Central countered with the next nine points for a 55-51 lead with 1:23 left in the game.
Cadie Lowe trimmed the margin to 55-54 when the senior connected on a three-pointer from the corner with 59 seconds left on the clock. The Bears went on to convert on four straight free throws for their semifinal victory.
Chatham Central’s Jordan Culberson scored 16 of her game-high 29 points in the fourth period, along with coming up with a crucial steal with less than 30 seconds left in the game and the Bears holding a three-point lead.
Culberson went nine for nine from the charity stripe. Brooke Strickland added 17 points for the Bears.
Horn and Sheffield added eight points each for the Mustangs.
North Moore 10 16 15 14 — 55
C. Central 16 9 11 23 — 59
North Moore: Shakorya Brower 10 0-4 20; Tiosha McCaskill 2 8-10 12; Tyisha Horn 4 0-2 8; Jessie Sheffield 2 3-4 8; Cadie Lowe 1 0-0 3; Kayla McNeill 1 0-0 2; Casey Turner 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 11-21 55.
Chatham Central: Jordan Culberson 10 9-9 29; Brooke Strickland 5 7-12 17; Ashley Hudson 4 0-2 9; Mackayla Brown 1 0-2 2; Jasmine Thompson 1 0-2 2; Kirsten Cole 0 0-2 0. Totals 21 16-31 59.
Three-point goals: NM 2 (Sheffield, Lowe); CC 1 (Hudson).
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