Poor free throw shooting hurts Cathedral in loss

Published 11:57 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

NATCHEZ — It was a tale of two halves for the Cathedral varsity girls, and unfortunately for them, the better half came in the first 16 minutes instead of the last 16.

After leading 20-18 at intermission, the Lady Green Wave fell behind 31-27 at the end of the third quarter, and only mustered six points in the fourth en route to a 40-33 loss at the hands of Wilkinson County Christian Academy.

WCCA head coach Ray Olive said he was proud of the way his team managed to pull out a road win.

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“I thought we came out focused and played well,” Olive said. “Our pressure (defense) seemed to give them trouble. They’re a good, well-coached team, but we switched in and out of several different defenses and confused them a little bit.”

Poor free throw shooting was a key disadvantage for the Lady Green Wave down the stretch, as they were just 5-for-11 at the line. Cathedral head coach Bernita Dunbar said her team must improve on foul shooting.

“Right now, we’re struggling with free throws,” Dunbar said. “We have to work on those in practice so we can start making them when they count.”

After going up 9-8 in the first quarter, WCCA pulled out ahead to open the second half when Caroline Walker hit a 2-pointer.

Cathedral struck back on a 3-point basket from Epiphany Jackson. Ginny Daggett added two points and Betsy Daggett also made an easy shot from underneath the bucket, giving Cathedral a 16-10 lead.

WCCA stormed back, going on an 8-2 run, capped off by a 2-pointer from Walker with 2:22 left in the half, tying the game 18-18. With 16 seconds before halftime, however, Cathedral’s Ana Perry scored two, putting Cathedral ahead.

Things went south for the Lady Green Wave in the third quarter, as they managed just seven points to WCCA’s 12.

To begin the fourth, WCCA’s Mary Claire Netterville sank a 3-pointer, extending the Lady Rams’ lead even more. Jackson managed a 2-point basket for Cathedral with 6:51 to go, but missed two foul shots on the Lady Green Wave’s next possession with 6:36 to go.

Neither team scored for almost three more minutes, until WCCA’s Terri Fisher hit a 2-pointer with 3:48 to go. The Lady Rams lead only 36-29 at that point, and Cathedral cut the lead to 36-33 on a 2-pointer and two free throws, both by Perry.

Those were the final points the Lady Green Wave would score. WCCA sank four key free throws with less than a minute to go, two by Bethany Fletcher and two by Netterville.

Walker finished with 11 points for the Lady Rams. Fisher tallied nine points.

Perry led Cathedral in scoring with 11 points, and Jackson added 10 points. Daggett finished with six points, but didn’t hit a basket in the second half, and fouled out during the fourth quarter.

“It makes a huge difference, losing one of your starters like that,” Dunbar said. “We’re a young team, and when you have to make those kinds of adjustments, it makes a difference.”

Cathedral fell to 4-6 on the season, 1-0 in the district.

WCCA rose to 4-9 on the year, 0-1 in district play.

Cathedral boys 68, WCCA 59

NATCHEZ — Even though the WCCA Rams had the top two scorers in this game, it was still not enough because Cathedral got contributions from several players as the Green Wave came away with a hard-fought win Friday night.

The second quarter was the difference in the outcome as Cathedral (4-4) outscored WCCA 18-11 to take a 33-24 halftime lead. The Rams cut the lead to seven points at the end of the third quarter, but the Green Wave made sure they didn’t get any closer with by scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter.

Tip McKenzie led the Rams with 29 points and Luke Whitaker finished with 20 points. However, just two of their teammates were able to get into the scoring column.

Charles Lee had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead Cathedral. Daniel Huffines scored 14 points and Caleb Upton added 12 points.