West Side stuck with South Side Bee Branch for the first eight minutes but South Side dominated the next 24 minutes behind forward Kendal Sullivan and guard Kelsey Cotton, whose combined 41 points led the first place Lady Hornets to a 70-53 win over the Lady Eagles on Friday night in 1A-2 South Conference action.
West Side stuck with South Side Bee Branch for the first eight minutes but South Side dominated the next 24 minutes behind forward Kendal Sullivan and guard Kelsey Cotton, whose combined 41 points led the first place Lady Hornets to a 70-53 win over the Lady Eagles on Friday night in 1A-2 South Conference action. South Side, which entered the game tied with Concord atop the league standings, jumped out to an 8-0 lead as Cotton and forward Baylee Clark each drained a three-pointer and Cotton added a layup in transition. West Side sliced its deficit in half with two consecutive jumpers from point guard Abby Turney but Sullivan countered with five straight, including a three-pointer up top. Trailing 13-4, West Side called for timeout and bounced back with a quick 7-0 spurt, sparked by Turney, who canned a jump shot from right elbow. West Side forward Alexis Barnes then scored five straight on a three-pointer from right corner and short jump shot from left side. South Side forward Ashley Smith answered with a bucket in transition before Barnes buried a three-pointer and Turney sank a pull up jumper from left wing, suddenly giving West Side a 16-15 advantage. The Lady Eagles' lead didn't last long as Sullivan converted an old-fashioned three-point play but Turney fired back with a jump shot from right elbow, tying the score at 18-all entering the second quarter. South Side opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run, starting when Sullivan canned a jumper from the foul line. South Side guard Bethany Wilson followed with a three-pointer from left wing then Cotton hit two free throws and Smith added another charity shot. Down 25-18, Turney ended the Lady Hornets' run with a three-pointer out front but Sullivan retaliated with a 17-foot jump shot from top of the arc. West Side post player Taylor Clark scored inside off an assist from guard Carra Duncan but South Side answered again, this time with a layup by Smith. The Lady Hornets pushed their lead to 33-23 when Cotton turned a strong drive into an old-fashioned three-point play, but Barnes responded with a jumper from left elbow before Smith scored inside off an assist from Sullivan. Smith, who scored 10 of her 14 points in the second quarter, drilled a three-pointer from left wing then Sullivan scored four straight as the Lady Hornets used a 9-0 run to stretch their lead to double figures. In the final minute of the first half, West Side post player Melissa Hendrickson hit a jumper in the lane but Cotton popped a fade away shot from right elbow in the closing seconds of the first half, giving South Side a 43-27 lead at halftime. South Side outscored West Side 19-15 in the third quarter behind six points from Sullivan and five more from Cotton, while the Lady Eagles kept their hopes alive with seven points from Barnes and four apiece from Hendrickson and Turney. Trailing 61-42 entering the final eight minutes of play, West Side continued to scrap, outscoring South Side 11-8 as Turney knocked down two from beyond the arc and guard Whitney England added another trey. “We just couldn't play at their pace. They wore us down as the game went on and they shot it well and we didn't. That was a big difference in the game as well,” said West Side Coach Shane Davis. The Lady Eagles, who forced 10 turnovers while only giving away nine, finished 21 of 65 from the field, including 7 of 27 from beyond the arc. West Side also hit 4 of 10 free throws Sullivan paced South Side (8-1 in 1A-2 South) with 21 points, Cotton followed with 20, Smith added 14 and Wilson finished with seven. Turney pumped in a game-high 26 points for West Side, Barnes added 16 and Hendrickson had six points and eight boards.