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Western girls look to gain from tight game with Class 1-A champs

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Western Alamance and Bishop McGuinness put on a solid show in what became the top matchup in the inaugural Central City Classic, a showcase for girls’ basketball Saturday at Williams High School.

But Western couldn’t keep up in the second half and that resulted in a 55-47 loss.

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The Villains, the two-time reigning Class 1-A state champions, were too much for the Warriors by the end, marking another close call against a quality opponent for Western. The Warriors are counting on these experiences paying off.

“I think it’s important we play good teams,” Western forward Tina Bowers said. “It will be worth it in the long run.”

In other games, lopsided results were the rule. Asheville School defeated Clover Garden 57-16, Northwood topped Ashe County 56-38, and Northern Guilford broke away for a 72-20 trouncing of Williams in the nightcap.

Western (4-3) had an early upper hand, but scoring droughts were costly.

“We struggle when we have to play slow,” Warriors coach Sean Quinn said. “We’re competing really well. We, and I mean as coaches, need to find ways to put our team in comfortable situations.”

Adelaide Jernigan racked up 29 points for Bishop McGuinness (5-0). Bowers and Allie Sykes both had 16 points for the Warriors.

When Western fell behind, Quinn said the effort to speed up the game by pressing enabled Jernigan more space to break free and she converted too often.

Western Alamance broke out to a 20-6 lead in the first minute of the second quarter, capped by a 3-pointer from Emma Johnson.

The Warriors were up 24-18 at halftime. The score was knotted at 32-32 entering the fourth quarter.

“We have to build to complete games,” Bowers said. “When they went on their run, we couldn’t find a way to respond.”

Bowers scored all eight Western points in the third quarter. The Villains eventually built a double-digit margin in the fourth quarter.

  • In the Northern Guilford-Williams game, the Bulldogs kept it tight for most of the first half before trailing 30-15 at the break.

But there was nearly no offense for Williams (5-2) in the second half.

“The game was rough, but we were down 15 at that half,” Williams coach Jason Cheek said. “Then we got smacked in the mouth in the third quarter.

Northern Guilford’s Leena McField scored 27 points as the Nighthawks improved to 8-0. Regan Averett of Williams had 11 points.

Other than his team’s result, Cheek said he viewed the event as a success.

“To be the first year, I’m tickled to death with the response and the feedback,” he said.

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