January 23, 2013

Area roundup: Excel sweeps at CHS

Despite not getting the desired outcome, Christian Heritage’s girls basketball team kept firing shots Tuesday against Excel Christian Academy.

And despite going 6-for-34 from behind the 3-point line, the Lady Lions still kept the game close before Excel pulled away late in the fourth quarter to win 43-35 in a Sub-region 6A-A matchup.

“We just weren’t hitting,” Lady Lions coach Heather Lowery said. “We weren’t patient. Then, of course, we get down to the end of the game and needed some shots, but just rushed a lot of stuff.”

The Lady Lions (5-15, 2-5 Sub-region 6A-A) swapped buckets with the Lady Eagles early, leading 10-9 with 1:16 left in the first quarter. But a 13-2 run by Excel Christian (5-13, 1-6) broke the game open midway through the second quarter for a 22-12 Lady Eagles lead.

Excel’s lead dwindled in the third quarer as Lady Lions tightened up their defense and created turnovers. After an Excel timeout with 5:39 left in the third, guard Alexis Poag cut into the deficit with a 3-pointer from the right wing to cut the lead to 30-21.

Guard Sarah Massengale then scored eight straight points after a Christian Heritage timeout, and the Lady Lions trailed 32-29.

Lady Eagles center Emily Willingham, however, countered with a flurry of her own with a putback off of an offensive rebound, then two jumpers to make the edge 40-32 with just 2:28 left.

“If we would have hit a couple of 3s down the stretch, we’re in this game,” Lowery said. “It could have been much worse than it was. We just didn’t piece it together like we should have.”

Poag paced the Lady Lions with 13 points, while Massengale added 10 and a game-high 19 rebounds.

Guard Andrea Taylor led the Lady Eagles with 15 points, while Willingham added 13, with eight coming late in the fourth quarter.

Excel Christian boys 61, Christian Heritage 41: Eagles guard Rudy Winters’ 23 points led all scorers, and the Lions found no answer for the Eagles’ intensity on defense, which created 24 turnovers.

“When you turn the ball over that many times, and then you go 10 of 32 in the paint... what else do you need (to know)?” Lions coach Anthony Moseley said. “Turnovers get us every game. That was a really good team. (Even if) you just get half of (those misses), you’re in it. We beat them on the boards, but we just need to clean our game up against a team like that.”

It was a nip-and-tuck game after one quarter, with the score tied at 10. Excel (19-1, 8-0) then outscored the Lions 19-4 in the second quarter, with Winters hitting two long 3-pointers to push the lead to 11 midway through the period.

Christian Heritage (6-10, 2-6) trailed 29-14 at halftime, and 44-26 entering the final period.

Will Patterson led the Lions with 10 points, while Michael McKinney added nine points and 15 rebounds.

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