Cathedral comes up short

Published 11:42 pm Monday, November 28, 2011

Salem Lady Wildcats’ Julia Ann Guy looks for a pass while being guarded by Cathedral’s McKenzie Milligan Monday night at Cathedral. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — After being down 33-13 at the end of the first half, there probably weren’t many Lady Green Wave fans that expected Cathedral to make a comeback.

But the Cathedral High School girls rallied in the third and fourth quarters to make things interesting against Salem High School.

Ultimately, though, Salem did just enough to come out on top against Cathedral 51-46, dropping the Lady Green Wave to 0-3 on the season.

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“At halftime, we talked about how we had excellent plays, but we had to make the shots,” Cathedral head coach Randy Smith said of his players’ comeback attempt.

“We were wide open, but we had to make the shots. (My girls) hustled better, they shot better and they pressed better. We switched to man-to-man defense, and that brought us back, and we just came a few shots away from winning it.”

Cathedral opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run before Salem’s Lucy Puder hit a three-pointer with 3:50 to go to score the Lady Wildcats’ first points of the third. Puder and Markeria Butler hit two more three-pointers apiece, but the Lady Green Wave also scored six points to make it 42-26 at the end of the third.

And the Lady Green Wave defense stymied Salem’s offense to start the fourth as well, as Cathedral scored 12 unanswered points in the opening three minutes of the fourth. Salem’s lead was now 42-38, but a three-pointer by Puder with 4:02 left ended Salem’s scoring drought and extended that lead to 45-38.

After that, Cathedral continued to cut away at the Lady Wildcats’ lead. The Lady Green Wave’s Ginny Daggett hit a free throw with 3:46 to go, and McKenzie Milligan tallied a field goal with 3:36 left. Daggett then sank a three-pointer with 2:28 to go, making it 45-44 Salem.

But Cathedral managed just two points in the final two minutes of play. Puder and Jasmin May both had free throws for Salem, and a field goal by Butler with 1:11 to go made it 49-44 Salem.

Kimble Devening’s two-point basket with 28 seconds left made it a three-point game, but Butler sealed the win for the Lady Wildcats with two foul shots with 11 seconds to go.

Salem relied heavily on its perimeter game, and the Lady Wildcats sank eight three-pointers, something that surprised Smith.

“They shot the three-point shot very well, and they were out 35 to 40 feet, and we just didn’t think they could make those shots, but they did,” Smith said. “We have to remember to just deny them the ball.”

In the first five and a half minutes of play, Salem outscored Cathedral 13-1, with the only Lady Green Wave point coming off a free throw by Wesley Calloway. Daggett hit a layup with 1:05 left in the first for the Green Wave, and Milligan scored on a field goal with 48 seconds left, but Puder had a three-pointer with 25 seconds to go to make it 16-5 Salem after one.

Cathedral managed just eight points in the second while Salem tallied 17.

Daggett led Cathedral in scoring with 19 points. Puder scored 19 for Salem, and Butler added 14 points.

Salem 44, Cathedral boys 42

The Cathedral boys were also on the losing end of a close game, even with the addition of several players following the end of football season for the Green Wave.

Khalil Brice led the Green Wave with 11 points, and Carl Hammitte added eight points. Cathedral trailed 21-16 at halftime and 32-27 at the end of three.

Cathedral (0-4) will host ACCS tonight.