• 54°

SALISBURY — Catawba’s Antoinette McPhail is 6-foot-3, so when she takes a charge, it’s almost like watching a tree tumble after it’s been felled by an axe.
McPhail stood her ground twice for critical charges in Catawba’s 70-63 SAC win against Mars Hill on Saturday at Goodman Gym, and she didn’t care what it looked like, as long as the results were positive.
Sometimes the stat sheet lies. Mars Hill’s women shot 67 percent in the second half— yet it was Catawba’s McPhail-anchored defense that proved decisive.
Mars Hill (1-3, 0-2) cut an 18-point deficit down to 64-56 with 4:21 remaining, but at that point, Catawba’s halfcourt defense dug in and dug a little deeper.
“We really sat down in our halfcourt defense and tried to deny the options in their triangle offense,” Catawba coach Angie Morton said. “We couldn’t do it every single time, but most of the time we were able to deny the wings and the high post.”
In a four-minute span in which it still had an opportunity to pull the game out, Mars Hill had seven offensive possessions. Those possessions went turnover-turnover-turnover-turnover-turnover-turnover-turnover.
Catawba (3-1, 2-0) wasn’t doing a lot offensively, but those seven straight Mars Hill turnovers, which included the charges McPhail took at the 2:30 and 1:18 marks, saved the day for the Indians.
“Antionette didn’t play well on Wednesday (Catawba still won at Wingate), but she came in today with her mind set on defense and rebounding,” Morton said.
While Catawba’s offense sputtered during that defense-dominated stretch, it did manage one bucket. After a timeout, Emma Ucinski got the ball low to McPhail, an McPhail finished.
Catawba stayed on 64 a painfully long time, but it was 67-56 when the Lions finally broke their scoring drought on a layup by Genice Lane with 21 seconds left.
Catawba shot 39.1 percent, and the Lions had a small edge on the backboards, but 31 turnovers did the Lions in.
Catawba had 15 turnovers.
Ucinski and Chloe Bully scored 14 points apiece.
McPhail had 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists, including a beauty on a pressbreak.
Ansley Ricker scored 21 for the Lions.
“We got a big road win Wednesday, but it wouldn’t have mattered much if we hadn’t won today at home against a scrappy team,” Morton said. “We’re playing a lot of sophomores, so we’ll take 2-0 in the league.”

MARS HILL (63) — Ricker 21, Hayes 12, Espinosa 12, Lane 9, Ward 5, Stevens 2, Baker 2.
CATAWBA (70) — Bully 14, Ucinski 14, McPhail 11, Greer 8, Brown 7, Dixon 5, Ciric 5, Clay 4, Whitby 2, Tamauskaite.
Mars Hill 28 35 — 63
Catawba 39 31 — 70

Comments

Comments closed.

Business

Multi-building development on East Innes begins to take shape after years of delays

Education

‘We know what time it is’: Livingstone students hear from local candidates for office

Education

Shoutouts

Local

Lee Street theatre pivots after positive COVID-19 tests cancel live shows

Elections

Local voters say first presidential debate devoid of substance, contained little to change minds

High School

Interest is spiking in South volleyball

Education

Education Briefs: Superintendent survey now available for community members

Education

Celebrating national 4-H week

Education

Robots with phonics: Rockwell Elementary is blending subjects to engage with kids

Crime

Agreement to divert minor disciplinary incidents from court ready for public feedback

Nation/World

Biden, Trump snipe from road and rails after debate chaos

Nation/World

Debate commission says it will make changes to format

Coronavirus

County moves up to fourth in state for COVID-19 deaths

Crime

Photo: Truck wanted in connection with Reaper’s Realm shooting

Coronavirus

North Carolina moves to Phase 3, but COVID progress is ‘fragile’

Coronavirus

Changes to expect when phase three starts Friday

Crime

Blotter: Concord man faces weapons, marijuana charges after traffic stop

Elections

Political sign stealing on the rise in Rowan as campaign season heats up

News

Chaotic first debate: Taunts overpower Trump, Biden visions

Elections

Debate takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

News

Appalachian State student dies following COVID complications

Local

Planning board OKs rezoning for 5-acre property on Mooresville Road

Business

Kannapolis seeking redevelopment proposals for site of old baseball stadium

Elections

Tell us your opinion about the first presidential debate