Mustangs Rumble Past Lady Vikings
Fueled by the pickpocket skills of senior Jalisa Davis and the floor generalship of sophomore point guard Casey Turner, the North Moore girls’ basketball team broke open a tightly contested game midway through the third quarter for a 59-44 victory over cross-county rival Union Pines Tuesday in Robbins.
The visiting Lady Vikings didn’t do much to help their cause at the foul line, connecting on only one of 16 shots from the charity stripe, many during the Lady Mustangs’ 22-2 run during the final minutes of the third period and the opening half of the fourth frame. Meanwhile, North Moore hit on 14 of 19 foul shots.
“We got nothing from the foul line,” said Union Pines coach John Lewkowicz, whose team falls to 1-2 for the season. “If we hit a few of them, we might have kept ourselves in the game. We lost our composure during their run. We’re a young team and we’re going to have some growing pains.
“Give North Moore credit, they made the adjustments in the second half and were able to take control of the game. We’ll keep working hard and improve.”
The Vikings actually took control of the game in the first half, holding a 22-18 lead at the break. Union Pines, with the taller team, controlled the boards, allowing the Mustangs only one shot on most of their trips down the floor.
The Vikings opened the contest with a 10-1 run, thanks to putback buckets by freshmen Stephanie Johnson and Marisa Smith. Then Davis scored six straight points for the Mustangs while Viking senior Bethany Daley scored a bucket in the final seconds, giving her team a 12-7 lead going into the second quarter.
Daley opened the second quarter with a three-pointer on the Vikings’ first possession. Davis answered with a trey and a bucket to go along with fellow senior Jessie Sheffield’s steal and layup, cutting the Vikings’ lead to 15-14. Johnson’s basket just before the buzzer gave her team a 22-18 lead going into the locker room.
Johnson’s rebound for a basket in the second half’s first possession put the Vikings up by six points. Then the Mustangs ran off seven straight points, giving them their first lead of the game with 5:12 left in the third period. The two teams exchanged buckets, with Union Pines taking their last lead at 28-27 with 3:10 left in the quarter.
“Give them (Union Pines) credit, they did a heck of a job in the first half,” said North Moore coach Sammy McNeill, whose team improved to 2-0. “They slowed the pace and were able to use their big girls inside. They did a good job executing their game plan.
“But we made some adjustments at halftime and upped the tempo and were able to take the lead and get the win. Casey (Turner) took her game to another level with this being only her second game as our point guard. We got some good play off the bench from Mone’ (Little) and Andrea (Brower). Both of them got some key baskets for us.”
After the Vikings took their final lead, the Mustangs outscored their opponents 8-2 over the final 3:10 of the third quarter. North Moore opened the fourth period on a 14-0 run over the first four minutes for their biggest lead of the game at 49-30. Davis had eight points during the run while Turner added a pair of buckets off of steals.
During the final four minutes of the period, sophomore Megan Harris and junior Anna Jackson came off the bench to score six and five points, respectively, for the Vikings, trimming the lead to the final 15-point margin.
Davis paced the Mustangs with 24 points, with 10 coming in the deciding final frame. Turner added 12 points followed by Sheffield with six points, Brower six, Kasi Martin four, Little four and Myia Bush two.
Johnson finished with 11 points and nine rebounds for the Vikings. Daley added 10 points, followed by Jackson with seven points, Harris six, Reagan Molek four, Lexie Coxe two, Smith two and Charlotte Holder two. Holder and Smith also pulled down nine rebounds.
The Mustangs played Eastern Randolph Wednesday and entertain North Stanly Monday. Union Pines has a home date Friday with East Montgomery. The girls’ games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. followed by the boys’ contests.
Union Pines 12 10 8 14 — 44
North Moore 7 11 17 24 — 59
Union Pines: Johnson 5 1-5 11; Daley 4 0-1 10; Jackson 3 0-0 7; Harris 3 0-3 6; Molek 2 0-0 4; Coxe 1 0-0 2; Smith 1 0-5 2; Holder 1 0-0 2. Totals - 20 1-16 44.
North Moore: Davis 8 6-6 24; Turner 4 3-7 12; Sheffield 2 2-2 6; Brower 2 0-0 6; Little 1 2-4 4; Martin 2 0-0 4; Bush 1 0-0 2. Totals - 20 14-19 59.
Three-point goals: UP 3 (Daley 2; Jackson 1); NM 5 (Davis 2, Brower 2, Turner 1).
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