CHERRYVILLE–Antonio Griggs was not happy with Cherryville`s first-half effort against pesky West Lincoln Tuesday night.
And the 6-1 senior forward voiced his concerns at halfitme.
“We played lackadaisical, like we didn`t want to play together. I told everybody we had to make a run at the beginning of the third quarter, and that`s what we did,” said Griggs.
Leading by example, Griggs scored 10 of his game-high 22 points in a 21-12 run that propelled the Ironmen to an 85-47 Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference victory.
The Rebels (3-5, 1-1 SPC) trailed by only five, 34-29, at the break despite committing 12 first-half turnovers.
But the Ironmen (8-0, 2-0 SPC) opened the third quarter with six unanswered points. Justin Johnson, a 6-7 sophomore center, scored inside and Griggs converted back-to-back steals into breakaway layups.
West Lincoln coach Chad Wright called a timeout at the 7:10 mark with his team trailing 40-29, but he could not counter the shift in momentum.
Griggs sank two straight 3-pointers, Johnson got more two baskets in the lane,and Kalem Johnson got a lay-in off an alley oop pass from point guard Cameron Lovelace.
The Ironmen shot 75 percent in the third quarter (9-for-12) and held the Rebels to two field goals during the eight-minute stretch. By the end of the quarter, they led 55-41.
The fourth quarter started the same way, with Cherryville going on an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 22, 63-41. The Ironmen continued to pull away down the stretch on their way to a 30-point quarter.
Justin Johnson scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting before heading for the bench early in the fourth quarter. The only negative for Johnson was a 3-for-10 night at the free throw line.
Ben Poole was the only West Lincoln player in double figures with 11 points. Matt Baxter and Jake Watts followed with nine each.
The Rebels shot 5-for-7 in the first quarter but cooled off after the hot start. West Lincoln also had problems against Cherryville`s pressure, commiting seven turnovers in the decisive third quarter and 21 for the game.
West Lincoln 55
The Lady Rebels overcame a four-point deficit in the final minute-and-a-half of regulation and rode the inside scoring of Sara Elmore to an overtime win.
West Lincoln tied the game with 13 seconds left on a bank shot in the lane by Jessie Watts and had a shot at the buzzer to win in regulation. However, Kadya Caldwell missed from the top of the key and the teams went into OT tied at 47.
Cherryville took the first lead of the extra period, but West Lincoln answered with two free throws by Candi Taylor and three baskets down low from Elmore to build a 55-50 lead.
Cherryville lost senior point guard Abby Walls to five fouls at the 1:30 mark of OT and hurt its chances with late turnovers.
Elmore finished with a game high 18 points, 13 of them coming in the final 12 minutes of play. Caldwell also hit double figures with 11.
Cherryville, which lost its fourth in a row to fall to 3-5 and 0-2, was led by forward Megan Bridges with 17 points.
by Mike Powell