Mustang Girls Fall to Wildcats
With crunch time bearing down on basketball teams jockeying for positions in the final regular season Yadkin Valley Conference standing, the North Moore girls’ basketball team suffered a couple of setbacks Wednesday when they hosted conference leader South Davidson.
With the Lady Mustangs trying to stay within striking distance of the visiting Lady Wildcats, senior Jalisa Davis, the league’s leading scorer and three-point shooter, went down with an ankle injury with more than seven minutes left in the contest.
With Davis on the bench icing her injury, her teammates tried valiantly to stay with the conference unbeatens, but the Wildcats (17-2, 13-0) had too many weapons as they raced to a 71-53 win.
The Mustang loss drops them to fifth place in the conference standings with a 6-7 record (11-9 overall) and two games behind Chatham Central, who beat Gray Stone Wednesday. North Moore has only three more conference games left in the regular season before the league tournament is scheduled to start Feb. 18.
The Mustangs played from behind for much of game before Davis’ injury and at times trailed by as many 10 points. However, each time they fell behind, they rallied to within one or two points, but were never able to get over the hump to grab the lead.
North Moore did score first for its only lead of the game when Davis hit on one of two free throws to start the game.
South Davidson ran off the next seven points before the Mustangs got their first basket from senior Mone’ Little with 4:03 left in the first period.
Little finished with eight of her season-high 13 points during the opening stanza. The Wildcats responded after Little’s first bucket, taking a 10-point lead. Little’s final bucket of the quarter, on an assist from Davis, cut the Wildcats’ lead to 19-11 as the period ended.
The two teams exchanged baskets to open the second quarter and the Wildcats led 24-14 with 6:51 left in the half. Then junior Heather Dunmyer made a three-point play followed by a three-pointer banked off the glass from the right elbow by senior Jessie Sheffield, cutting the lead to four points.
North Moore sophomore Casey Turner hit one of two foul shots followed by a short jumper from fellow sophomore Andrea Brower, giving the Mustangs nine straight points in just over a minute, cutting the Wildcats’ lead to one point.
South Davidson bounced back to take a 33-25 lead with 2:58 left in the second frame.
Once again the Mustangs came charging back and, with back-to-back baskets from Brower and Davis, the Wildcats’ lead was back to one point with 35 seconds left. The half ended with the Wildcats nursing a 36-34 lead.
Little had 10 points for the Mustangs at the break, with Davis adding eight and Dunmyer seven. Senior Holly Wall paced the Wildcats in the first half with 12 points and Larsen Sigmon added 11 points.
The second half opened with South Davidson’s top scorer, Larsen Sigmon hitting one-of-two foul shots, followed by a Davis driving layup, cutting the lead to one point. That would be the closest the Mustangs would get the rest of the game, as the Wildcats opened eight- to 11-point leads over the rest of the third period.
The Wildcats outscored the Mustangs 18-11 in the third period for a 54-45 lead going into the fourth quarter. Davis went down with her injury driving for the basket with 7:13 left in the contest and her team trailing 58-47. Little stepped to the line for Davis and hit one-of-two foul shots, trimming the lead to 10 points, which was as close North Moore came to the visitors.
“We played good in the first half,” said North Moore coach Sammy McNeill. “But they came out just outplayed us in the second half. We tried to make a run in the third period, but we were outplayed.
“Mone’ and Heather stepped up and scored some points for us.”
Davis, who is leading the conference averaging nearly 25 points per game, topped the Mustangs’ scoring column with 16 points followed by Little with 13 points and Dunmyer 10.
Wall paced the Wildcats with 20 points followed by Larsen Sigmon with 17 points, Hunter Sigmon 10 and Madison Beeson 10.
The Mustangs travel to East Montgomery tonight (Friday) for a conference contest. The Lady Eagles are coming off an upset victory over Albemarle Tuesday. The girls’ game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. followed by the boys’ game.
South Davidson 19 17 18 17 — 71
North Moore 11 23 11 8 — 53
South Davidson: Wall 7 6-10 20, L. Sigmon 4 9-12 17, H. Sigmon 4 2-2 10, Beeson 3 2-4 10, M.Sigmon 4 0-1 8, Fee 1 1-2 3, 1 0-1 3. Totals 24 20-32 71.
North Moore: Davis 6 4-6 16, Little 4 5-5 13, Dunmyer 2 6-7 10, Brower 4 0-0 8, Sheffield 1 2-5 5, Turner 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 18-26.
Three-point goals: SD 3 (Beeson 2, Grubb); NM 1 (Sheffield).
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