Published: 12:30 AM, Wed Feb 29, 2012
Talking Sports: South View's girls basketball team pursues state championship
The South View girls basketball team has had a great two-year run. The Lady Tigers' record for the past two seasons to date is 57-1.
The Lady Tigers will face a talented Green Hope High team in the regional semifinals. That game will be played at the Cumberland County Crown Arena at 8:30 tonight.
Last year, they were undefeated until losing the Eastern Regional Championship game to Raleigh Millbrook.
The coaches and players took great pride last year in being conference champions, sectional champions, and one of the final four teams in the state. However, their ultimate goal of a state championship remained unfulfilled.
This season's Lady Tigers returned the core of last year's team, including their two leading scorers, Sidney Cook and Ciara Morris. They added a powerful inside force in 6-foot freshman Chinyere Bell and a defensive stopper in sophomore Jasmine Brown. Senior Talibah Brown and juniors Kanesha Lankford, Jaylynne Williams, Monique Scott and Brii Garrell gave the team experienced depth and great chemistry.
The result has been an undefeated record, another conference championship, and another sectional championship.
The sectional title came with a scare. In the sectional semifinals, a talented Durham Riverside squad jumped out to a 22-8 second-quarter lead and made South View fight from behind. The South View girls showed their character and determination to win.
South View trailed Riverside 49-48 late in the fourth quarter, and Riverside had the ball. Riverside's star player, Maddie McCallie, attempted a shot that was blocked by South View's Jasmine Brown. The very athletic Brown then recovered the loose ball and drove the length of the court for a go-ahead basket at 50-49. South View scored the next four points for a 54-49 lead and held on for a final 57-52 victory.
In the victory over Riverside, Cook scored 24 points, Bell had 14, Morris had 12, and Brown had 6.
The close call against Riverside apparently gave the Tigers extra motivation for their next game against Scotland County. The Tigers dominated the Scots with their size and talent for a 58-28 victory in the sectional finals. Cook had 19 points and Morris had 16 in that victory.
Two wins in the regional tournament would put Coach Brent Barker's team in the state championship game. I believe they can do it this year.
The entire South Cumberland community should turn out tonight to give the Lady Tigers a great home-crowd advantage.
See you at the games.
Bruce Armstrong is a lawyer who lives in Hope Mills. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.