Cathedral, Vidalia slug it out on the floor
Published 12:03 am Tuesday, November 25, 2014
NATCHEZ — Cathedral (1-0) and Vidalia (1-2) tested one another’s toughness in a 44-32 Lady Green Wave victory Monday night.
The referees let the two play physical defense, which resulted in one tumble after another on the hardwood.
“Vidalia is tough,” Cathedral head coach Randy Smith said. “We played them in junior high, and they did everything but bite us then. In high school, they carried that forward, and they were very aggressive. It’s good to play an aggressive team and get tested.”
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The contest was close for a quarter, as baskets were hard to come by in the hard-hitting game. Vidalia took an 8-7 lead into the second quarter, but the Lady Green Wave owned the second quarter. Marty Lewis started the quarter off with by hitting a jumper in the corner. Then, Natalie Fletcher followed her up by hitting a 3-pointer to extend Cathedral’s lead to 12-4. Cathedral closed the quarter on an 8-0 run, taking a 22-14 lead into halftime. Cathedral switched to a 1-2-2 defense in the second quarter, preventing Vidalia’s leading scorer Tierra Bell from driving the ball and getting open looks.
“We wanted to force her left as much as possible,” Smith said. “If you leave her open, she’ll get you.”
Vidalia head coach Fred Marsalis said Cathedral’s defense encouraged Bell to take some ill-advised shots.
“She was ailing and pressing, trying to make it happen,” Marsalis said. “You have to let stuff like that flow. We didn’t let it flow tonight.”
Bell finished with 11 points in the ballgame.
Meanwhile, Cathedral continued to pour it on in the third quarter, racing past Vidalia with fast breaks generated by turnovers. McKenzie Milligan started the quarter off by getting a steal and converting a layup. Milligan had to sit out the bottom half of the second quarter after getting into foul trouble, but once she was back on the floor, her presence was felt early.
“Our backcourt was in a rhythm when she was back out there because (Milligan) and (Mackenzie Watts) played together since they were babies,” Smith said. “It makes a big difference having her in there.”
Watts scored five of her eight points in the quarter, while Elizabeth Smith, who led the team with 10 points, produced points on the low block.
Cathedral outscored Vidalia 10-4 in the third, and played reserves for most of the fourth quarter.
Milligan had six points, Smith had a double-double with 11 rebounds to go along with her 10 points, Lewis had seven points and 13 rebounds and Akua Kumi had four points and four rebounds in the victory.
Bre’Honor Harris had six points and Kyesha Thomas had five points for the Lady Vikings.
Marsalis was displeased with his team’s attention to detail and execution.
“We didn’t play,” Marsalis said. “We did nothing we were taught to do, and it showed. Those kids played well, but we didn’t show up tonight.”