By JONATHAN WISE /Sports Writer
ECRU — The outcome was never really in doubt in the cross-county North vs. South girls basketball showdown Friday night, with the home standing Lady Vikings taking control from the opening tip and never looking back en route to a convincing 70-35 victory.
The first half
North (14-5) jumped out to a commanding 19-3 lead at the end of the first period behind eight points from senior post player Chelsea Mabry.
Completely dominating the first half, the Lady Vikings pulled ahead by up to 20 points twice, once on a floater from Andrea Lewis at the 4:06 mark and again on a transition layup from Tia Davis with 54.7 seconds left in the half.
The second half
The Lady Cougars went into the break trailing 32-13 and looking for any kind of spark. South briefly cut it to 34-18 at the 5:19 mark of the third on a floater from Maddison Crudup.
However, North extended the lead to 48-26 by the end of three, which blossomed into a 35-point final margin after the Lady Vikings outscored the visitors 22-9 in the final quarter.
“We just didn’t compete,” said Lady Cougar head coach Matt Waldrop, whose team is now 14-8 on the year. “We tried to play a defense keeping someone in front of and behind Mabry, and we didn’t do a good job of keeping it out of her hands.
“We weren’t able to hit shots, and it was just a weak effort all the way around.”
Blue Mountain signee Lewis led all scorers with 22 points, while Chelsea Mabry and Tia Davis recorded 15 and 13, respectively.
Mattie Mills put up 11 for South, with Crudup adding nine.
Coach Montgomery’s take
“I didn’t think we played smart when we got ahead early,” said North Pontotoc headman Shane Montgomery. “We were shooting the ball too quick. We also didn’t do a good job on penetration. We allowed Crudup to get in the lane too much, but I did think we did a good job of containing Costilow.”
“Overall I was pleased with the effort. We shot the ball fairly well. I thought Andrea did a good job taking the ball to the goal.
“There was a stretch during the middle of the game where we didn’t get Chelsea (Mabry) the ball enough,” he added, “but I thought we did a good job of getting her involved in the first and the fourth quarters when we made our runs.”