By VAN HOLLAND
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
PINETOPS – The SouthWest Edgecombe Lady Cougars got their second win of the season Saturday when they thumped Victory Christian Center 67-13.
Freshmen guards Teleyah Owens and Tia Farmer helped guide SouthWest (2-3) on the offensive end of the floor. Owens scored a game-high 16 points and dished out seven assists while Farmer added 13 points and grabbed five rebounds.
"Teleyah and Tia have added scoring for us this season," SouthWest coach Sandra Langley said. "it's a big transition to come straight to varsity from middle school, but it has been an eye opener for them as far the overall game goes. They are really learning and we are starting to gel."
Juniors Bethany Barnes, who scored 14 points and Montana York who chipped in nine, also had a hand in the Cougars win with their offensive production. Barnes was also instrumental under the goal, grabbing eight rebounds.
"We played as a team and as a young team we needed this win, because hopefully it will give us some confidence," Langley said. "We have been working on how the guards need to look inside more and we did a better job of that. We did a good job tonight passing the ball and getting others involved."
The Cougars forced the Kings to turn the ball over 35 times and SouthWest used that defensive pressure to turn the Kings' miscues into points. The Cougars scored 27 points off of turnovers. The Cougars used a zone trap and tough man-to-man defense to force the mistakes.
"We have been working on our man-to-man defense and since we are young we have to take it slowly," Langley said. "This week we worked on our zone traps and I thought we did a good job executing that (Saturday)."
SouthWest jumped out to an early lead when they got production from all five starters. They all scored in the first frame and the Cougars took a 16-1 lead after one quarter, which mainly came from Victory Christian turnovers.
In the second quarter, SouthWest turned up the defensive pressure once again and forced 12 turnovers in that quarter and scored 12 points off the King mistakes. The Cougars used the zone trap to create the offense from the defensive stops. SouthWest led 36-8 at halftime.
"We have worked on creating offense from our defense and we did a good job of that," Langley said. "That has helped us learn how to get it out in fast breaks some."
The Cougars continued their pressure in the second half and began to pull away from the Kings as they continued to trap and force turnovers. Though the Cougars were cruising, their turnover wows still plagued them. They committed 19 turnovers and missed 10 lay-ups and six more shots from within six fee of the basket.
"We are still missing way too many open shots especially under the basket," Langley said. "Hopefully we can only get better at those missed chances."
Kings 75 Cougars 35
In boy's action, SouthWest had no answer for Victory Christian's potent offense. The Kings had three players score in double-figures and Filip Simovic scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Kings past the Cougars 75-35.
SouthWest (3-2) committed 18 turnovers and Victory Christian took advantage of the mistakes and scored 16 points off those miscues.
Quantellas Norwood led the Cougars with eight points, while Jaquez Moody chipped in seven.
"We played a very good team," Cougars coach Anthony Burns said. "I want to thank them for coming from Charlotte to play us. They weren't coming with less than average athletes. They had some studs. We struggled early on and that hurt us and we fell behind and couldn't regain momentum."
Burns saw his team play intimidated in the first half, but they settled down. It was a little to late though. Victory Christian used their size and inside presence. They scored on second and third chance shots that gave them the edge.
The game was back and forth through the first quarter because neither team could score the ball early on. SouthWest missed seven lay-ups and put backs that could've gave them an early lead.
"We weren't settled in yet and we missed some easy shots," Burns said. "This was our first tough matchup of the year and we just had to settle in. When we missed those shots we kinda let the game get away from us."
Victory Christian got it together in the second quarter and put three different runs together to extend their lead. They led at halftime 34-17.
After making adjustments at halftime, Burns still saw his team being outmanned. Simovic couldn't be stopped. He connected on five three's in the game and used his inside presence to outplay the Cougars. The Kings also got good production from Jerry Austin who added 17 points and Ebuka Izuda chipped in 10.
"The caliber of athletes they have we were shell-shocked," Burns said. "We couldn't get an offensive flow going and we had to shot over some tall players."
The Cougars are back in action Tuesday when they travel to Leggett to play North Edgecombe.