North Moore Girls Run Record to 3-0
Both the North Moore and Eastern Randolph girls’ basketball teams went into Wednesday’s game in Robbins having played the night before. The host Lady Mustangs were coming off a 59-44 victory over cross-county rival Union Pines, while the Lady Wildcats dropped their season opener 57-49 to Southwestern Randolph.
Evidence of the previous night’s contests was obvious in the first quarter, especially for North Moore, which scored only two points on free throws while the Wildcats managed to score eight points for the first-period lead.
But the Mustangs were able to shake off their first-quarter woes, exploding for 23 points in the second quarter and taking a lead they never would relinquish for a 62-56 victory.
“That was about the ugliest first quarter I’ve ever seen,” said North Moore coach Sammy McNeill. “After getting the big win last night, everyone was excited about beating Union Pines, so I think it was the reason we came out flat. We’ve dug ourselves in a hole in a couple of games now and we’ve been able to dig our way out. We have to find a way not to get into those situations or we might not be able to dig our way out. Eastern Randolph played well and they are a good team.
“I’m really pleased with our progress, and being 3-0 against some good competition is a pretty good place to be right now. I thought senior Mone’ Little played well tonight. Last year she was a cheerleader, and now she is helping us out a lot by coming off the bench. The cheerleading team might miss her, but we’re glad she is playing basketball.”
During the opening quarter, both teams struggled offensively as they tried to find holes in the other team’s defense. In the second quarter, McNeill decided to pick up the pace, switching to full-court man-to-man defense. The strategy paid off as the team responded with 23 points, the Mustangs’ second highest scoring quarter of the season, only one point off the previous game’s 24-point fourth period.
Leading the high-scoring quarter was the senior trio of Jalisa Davis, Jessie Sheffield and Little, who combined for 19 of the points during the run. Actually the Wildcats started the second period off fast, racing to a 15-6 lead with 6:16 left in the first half.
Sparked by three-pointers from Davis and Sheffield, the Mustangs went on a 12-2 run, giving them an 18-17 lead with 2:40 left in the half. The two teams swapped buckets over the remainder of the quarter with North Moore holding a 25-23 lead at the break.
The game was a see-saw affair during the third quarter with the Mustangs never being able to pull away from the Wildcats with their lead ranging from six points to one point near the end of the frame. With Davis scoring 10 of her game-high 29 points, the Mustangs held a 41-39 lead going into the final period.
North Moore opened the fourth quarter on an 18-3 run, boosting the Mustangs to a 59-42 advantage, the largest of the game. Then the Mustangs’ free-throw shooting started to misfire while the Wildcats started to find their offense with Caroline Cox hitting a pair of treys sandwiched around a bucket. The Wildcats finished the game on a 14-3 run, while North Moore connected only one of 10 foul shots during the run. But the Mustangs were able to hold on for the six-point victory.
“Our legs gave out on us, having played back-to-back games, and that’s probably why we shot so badly in the fourth quarter,” said McNeill. “We were lucky we had built the big lead to get us the win.”
The Mustangs hit on 23-of-41 free throws for the game while the Wildcats connected on 16-of-25.
Following Davis’ season-high 29 points for the Mustangs was Little with 12 points, Sheffield 11, Heather Dunnmeyer three, Emma Loutzenheiser three, Kasi Martin two and Casey Turner two. The Wildcats were paced by Cox with 16 points while Alexis Andrews added 14 points and Shae Maness 11 points.
The Mustangs entertain North Stanly Monday and then open Yadkin Valley Conference play the following day hosting South Stanly. The girls’ games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. followed by the boys’ matchups.
E. Randolph 8 15 16 17 — 56
North Moore 2 23 16 21 — 62
E. Randolph: Cox 6 2-3 16; Andrews 3 8-11 14; Maness 5 1-3 11; Caviness 2 2-2 6; Tucker 1 1-2 3; Elliott 0 2-3 2; Ritter 1 0-0 2; Goins 1 0-0 2. Totals - 19 16-25 56.
North Moore: Davis 8 11-16 29; Little 4 4-8 12; Sheffield 4 2-2 11; Dunnmyer 1 1-4 3; Loutzenheiser 0 3-4 3; Martin 1 0-1 2; Turner 0 2-6 2. Totals - 18 23-41 62.
Three-point goals: ER 2 (Cox 2); NM 3 (Davis 2, Sheffield).
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