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South women’s basketball opens with win at Mount Pleasant

The South Stanly women’s basketball team opened the season Tuesday night with a 41-34 win at the Mount Pleasant Tigers.

For the third straight season, the Bulls opened with a win, breaking a late tie in the fourth quarter.

Senior guard Tanaya Harris came off the bench to lead South (1-0) with 13 points including five in the fourth. Sadie Lee added 10 points, including 4-of-4 at the free-throw line.

Emma Lotz led Mount Pleasant (0-1) with 14 points.

South made one less basket overall from the field than Mount but fared better from the foul line and the 3-point arc. The Bulls were 13-of-54 from the field (24.1 percent) and 4-of-16 from long distance (25 percent). South was 11-of-24 at the free-throw line (45.8 percent).

The Tigers were 14-of-43 from the field (32.6 percent), hitting 1-of-5 on 3-pointers and shooting 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) on foul shots.

In the first quarter, the teams exchanged 3-pointers to open the game before South outscored Mount 14-0 over the final 6:12 of the period. The Bulls’ full-court press forced the Tigers into 11 turnovers in the period.

Back-to-back baskets early in the second period got Mount within 10, then two Lotz free throws cut the deficit for the Tigers to eight with 6:42 on the clock. Lee knocked down four foul shots midway through the quarter but did not score over the final 3:10 of the period. South led by 26-15 at halftime.

The Bulls went cold from the field in the third quarter, hitting 1-of-11, while the Tigers hit 5-of-11 shots. Mount outscored South 8-0 over the final 4:56 of the third to pull within three, 28-25.

Mount tied the game with 3:15 left in the final period on the second of two free throws from Gracen Osborne.

South took the lead for good when Mattie Hinson scored on a long breakout pass from Kaleah LeGrande with 1:57 on the clock. Free throws from LeGrande and Harris put the Bulls up by five late, then a LeGrande steal and layup iced the game.

“Our freshman guard came up to the challenge,” South head coach Scott Stevens said regarding LeGrande’s efforts with starter D’Nysia Wall having fouled out early in the fourth.

“We lost a little composure in the second half, especially on offense. We need to get in the gym and practice more against live defense so we know how to handle it…you take (wins) however you can get them because we have to get better,” the South coach added.

South travels to East Montgomery (0-1) on Friday.

SS   17  9   2  13   41
MP  3  12 10  9    34

SS – Tanaya Harris 13, Sadie Lee 10, Hinson 7, LeGrande 5, Crump 2, Rummage 2, Wall 2.
MP – Emma Lotz 14, Harwood 8, Fisher 4, Mitchell 4, Ballard 2, Usher 2

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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