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Amidst the turnovers, held balls, fouls and wayward shots, the host Community Christian School varsity girls basketball team managed to generate enough offense to crank out a 29-22 North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A/2-A Coatal Independents Conference victory against The Oakwood School of Greenville in Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf’s Williamson Gymnasium on Thursday night.
The momentum shifted when the Lady Cyclones experienced an offensive burst of seven points in the first two minutes of the second half. Oakwood led 15-10 at intermission.
CCS improved to 2-5 in the conference and 6-12 overall, while the Lady Eagles plunged to 1-9. All games have been against conference foes.
“We executed a little better,” noted CCS sophomore Olivia Walker, who responded with a clutch three-point play in the closing minutes. “We were not cutting like we are supposed to. We need to get better vocally. We felt discouraged, but we just decided to not let one little mistake decide the whole game.”
Unfortunately, little mistakes were frequent because players were not triple-threat ready — shoot, drive and pass.
But a pair of field goals from sophomore Abby Lenhart and sophomore Kelsie Strange’s 3-pointer erased Oakwood’s halftime lead.
Sophomore Makayla Webb sank a free throw and then scrambled for a buzzer-beating basket that staked the Lady Cyclones to a 22-17 margin after three quarters.
CCS kept the lead although not scoring until Walker delivered her unusual three-point play with 3:23 remaining. Walker converted the first of two free throws, missed the second, but grabbed the rebound and scored. The Lady Cyclones then built their biggest lead of 29-20 on buckets by junior Michaeyla Lee and Lenhard.
“We were so amped up, so juiced up,” Jefferson remarked. “I just told the girls there was no way they should outrebound us. The rebounding was better in the second half and that’s when the transition came to light.”
In the second quarter, Oakwood snapped an 8-8 tie with junior Macey Robinette connecting on a 3-point shot and then a 2-pointer and sophomore Sara Allwair finishing a drive.
However, in the second half, the Lady Cyclones transformed offensive flurries and the rebounding and defense of Lee into a winning combination.
Webb’s seven points led CCS. Lee grabbed 11 rebounds. Alexis Langley, a 6-foot sophomore, provided six rebounds and three blocks. Walker had three assists;.
“We are young in experience,” Jefferson reminded of CCS. “But the numbers, scores and record don’t reflect the progress. If we will trust the process, we’re going far.”
Marcu 4, Li, Wood 4, Heins, Robinette 10, Alwair 4, Martin.
Walker 5, Langley 4, Manning, Lee 4, Strange 3, Webb 7, Lenhart 6.
Score by quarters:
Oakwood 4 11 2 5 — 22
CCS 4 6 12 7 — 29