From Staff Reports
Despite a not-so-impressive free throw effort, North Murray High School’s girls basketball team made sure a strong start Friday equaled a win.
North Murray won 43-34 at home against Region 5-3A foe Gordon Central and improved to 2-3 in league play and 7-9 overall.
The Lady Mountaineers shot 19 of 39 from the free-throw line, while their opponents finished 17 of 24.
“We were in the bonus with seven minutes left in the first half,” North Murray coach Keith Robinette said. “Our goal was to attack. We didn’t do a very good job (converting at the line).”
Despite Gordon Central chipping away at a 15-4 deficit when the first quarter ended — the Lady Warriors trailed 26-18 at halftime and 31-25 entering the last quarter — North Murray led the entire game.
“That was a good game for us because Gordon Central is a feisty, scrappy team,” Robinette said. “It was good for us to be ahead the whole way and having to gut one out at the end.”
• North Murray boys 72, Gordon Central 59: A trio of players scored in double figures — Alex Viars had 12 points, Payton Swilling 12 and Hinton McConkey 10 — and the Mountaineers (10-4, 3-2 Region 5-3A) climbed above .500 in league play, but coach Tim Ellis was looking for more.
“We did some very uncharacteristic things tonight that we haven’t been doing,” he said. “It’s frustrating at this point in the year. We played probably our best basketball of the season before the Christmas break ... but we haven’t gotten our rhythm back from before the holidays.”
• Gordon Lee girls 65, Christian Heritage 43: The Lady Lions (2-14, 0-3 Region 6-A) outscored their visitors 32-30 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome earlier trouble.
“We just had a bad second quarter and couldn’t score,” said Christian Heritage coach Heather Lowery, whose team was outscored 20-6 in that period.
Sarah Massengale added to her list of double-doubles this season with a 12-point, 17-rebound effort for Christian Heritage, while Ashlyn Clements chipped in seven points and Jordan Suddath grabbed six rebounds.
The Lady Lions showed progress earlier in the week during a last-second one-point loss at Murray County, but on Friday they didn’t play well early against the defending Class A public school state champions.
“They had some size — they had two girls with some good size — and that kind of gave us a little bit of fits,” Lowery said. “We adjusted, but we played a little bit rushed on offense.
“They were very quick defensively. ... We settled down the second half and did a much better job. We pressed a little bit, and I was able to go back again, I may have pressed a little bit in the first half to get us in that mode.”
• Gordon Lee boys 62, Christian Heritage 56: The Lions were held to just four points in the third quarter and lost a 1-point halftime lead in dropping a Sub-region 6A-A contest at home.
“We started off slow in the third quarter and let them score two or three easy buckets, and we were playing catch-up from there,” CHS coach Anthony Moseley said. “We played a good game considering two of our main players were out.”
Christian Heritage played shorthanded without Cameron Locke and Andrew McEntyre, who were both serving the second of a two-game suspension for a “violation of team rules,” Moseley said. According Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office arrest reports, both Locke, 18, and McEntyre, 18, were arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass on Dec. 26. Moseley said they would both return to the basketball court today when the Lions travel to Darlington.
Jake Porter led the Lions (6-9, 0-3) with 18 points.
• Heritage-Catoosa girls 71, Southeast Whitfield 66 (OT): The Lady Generals hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute of the fourth quarter to force overtime and rode that momentum to a road win against the Lady Raiders.
In what was a close contest throughout — with the two teams tied 29-29 at the end of the first half and matching that in the second — Southeast had the biggest lead with a six-point advantage in the fourth quarter.
“It was a frustrating game,” Southeast coach Mike Durham said. “It was a good game, but it was just frustrating. We had our chances and didn’t hit some free throws late, and they did in the overtime.”
The Lady Raiders (10-4, 1-1 Sub-region 7B-4A) were led by Cricket Wyatt’s 18 points, while Judelle Herrera added 11. Wendy Perez finished with 11 rebounds.
• Heritage boys 72, Southeast 50: The Raiders trailed 13-10 after the opening quarter and were down just 49-40 going into the final period, but stretches of poor play proved costly in the Sub-region 7B-4A loss at home.
“We were in at the half,” said Southeast coach Jim Case, whose team trailed 36-22 at intermission. “We just fell apart. We didn’t execute and turnovers got us. We had 13 turnovers in the first half so that didn’t help.”
The Generals pulled away for good in the final period.
“A couple of 3s, bang-bang, and a couple of turnovers and it got out of hand,” Case said.
Ty Pendley led the Raiders (4-10, 1-1) with 16 points, while Rhett Harper had 11 points and eight rebounds and Noah Ramsey had 13 rebounds.
• Ringgold girls 41, Coahulla Creek 37: The Lady Colts (5-9, 2-4 Region 5-3A) led by six points headed into the fourth quarter, but Ringgold outscored Coahulla Creek 16-6 in the final period to take the region win in Ringgold.
“We did a good job going inside in the first quarter and they did a good job of changing their defense,” Coahulla Creek coach Ryan Long said. “We just have to knock down shots. We have to make shots when we get open looks. We have to adjust when the other team adjusts, and we didn’t do that.”
After leading 14-11 at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Colts were held to just four points in the second. But it really didn’t matter since Ringgold managed just a single bucket in the quarter. Coahulla Creek added a point to that lead in the third, and went into the fourth up 31-25 before the Lady Tigers stormed back.
“I think that both teams did a good job on defense,” Long said. “They just did a better job in the fourth to pull away.”
Nikki Ross had 18 rebounds and scored 16 points to lead Coahulla Creek.
• Ringgold boys 81, Coahulla Creek 50: Taylor Poteet scored 12 and Dee McCord finished with 10 as the Colts (6-9, 1-4 5-3A) lost on the road.
• Dade County boys 94, Morris Innovative 24: Jaleel Brown had eight points to lead the Tigers (0-15, 0-9 Region 7-2A), who trailed 34-8 after the opening period and 61-17 at halftime.
• Northwest girls 53, Dalton 16: Lexi Storey and Karli Williams each scored 11 points, while Aubrey Young added eight as the Lady Bruins — who led 23-8 at halftime — remained undefeated through 12 games.
• North Murray boys 67, Gordon Central 53: Brody Frazier’s 17-point performance paced the Mountaineers (8-1), while Gage Earley added 12 points and Andrew Hooker had 10.
• North Murray girls 46, Gordon Central 29: Kelli Barnes led the way with 12 points and Tyree Walker finished with 10 as the Lady Mountaineers won for the seventh time in eight games this season.
• Southeast girls 43, Heritage 27: Maddie Pearson’s 11-point effort paced the Lady Raiders (6-3) in the home win.
• Coahulla Creek boys 59, Ringgold 49: Alex Fisher finished with 22 points to lead the Colts (9-2).