Pisgah girls breeze past SW Randolph by 35 points
CANTON — The No. 2 seed Pisgah varsity girls basketball team is making this season’s postseason run look too easy.
The Black Bears beat first round opponent A.C. Reynolds by 26 points and then thumped North Henderson by 29 in the second round.
It got worse in Friday night’s NCHSAA Class 3-A West Sectional IV championship game in the Bears’ Den.
Worse for Pisgah’s third round opponent.
The Black Bears dismantled No. 10 seed Southwestern Randolph by 35 points, 79-44, to advance to the West Regional semifinal game at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, against Weddington (25-4) in the Special Events Center next to the Greensboro Coliseum.
“This team is really special,” said Pisgah Head Coach Brandon Holloway. “They practice so well, they play well together, they have great God-given abilities, they execute the game plans so well, including (tonight’s) game plan against Southwestern Randolph.
“We were very concerned about their junior guard Kaila Craven, who was scoring 25 points a game. She could take over a game by herself. So we decided to rotate (Ashley) Penland and Brooklyn (Allen) in guarding her and they shut her down. I think she had only nine points going into the fourth quarter.
“I am so proud of Penland and Allen doing one heck of a job on her. Then when Craven drove the lane, Sheridan (Pressley) was there and took three charges. We just stayed disciplined and bottled her up. I do know this, if any team left in this tournament is going to beat us, they will have to play near perfect basketball because this team will fight and battle to the very end.”
A balanced scoring effort from five Black Bears propelled Pisgah to a 20-5 lead midway through the first quarter.
Pisgah led 29-12 by the end of the first quarter, 44-23 by halftime and 60-32 going into the final eight minutes.
The Black Bears, which improved to 27-1 overall, were led by sophomore Brooklyn Allen’s game high 26 points, senior Sheridan Pressley chipped in 16, senior Mariah Lewis added 14 and senior Kelsi Long contributed seven points.
In addition, Allen grabbed 13 rebounds and Lewis yanked 12 to finish with a double-double each.
Craven had only nine points through three quarters and scored 12 points in the final eight minutes against Pisgah’s bench to lead the Bearcats with 21 points.
“When the opposition is more talented, it doesn’t mean losing hurts any less,” said Southwestern Randolph Head Coach Paula LaPlant. “Pisgah is an extremely talented team. They are deep, well coached and we did not pick a good night not to play our best. Pisgah identified our shooters and their defense was efficient. We haven’t seen anyone like this. They are strong at every position.”