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Tomlin, Holley help Lady Knights take down McBee, 59-41

Posted: December 19, 2016 4:08 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2016 1:00 a.m.

NC'S KALI TOMLIN is guarded by a pair of McBee defenders as she eyes a path to the basket in the Lady Knights' win last Thursday in Boonetown.

A folding chair with a cushioned seat and back rest and nobody standing or sitting in front or beside him and not having to yell at anybody; it was the best of all worlds for Mitch Lowder.

Lowder, the North Central girls’ basketball coach, was forced to separate himself from his team and assistant coaches for Thursday night’s game with visiting McBee due to his having a cold. He might want to think about making his seat at the far end of the bench his permanent spot.

Getting 25 points from sophomore Kali Tomlin and 17 more from freshman Peyton Holley, the Lady Knights provided the basketball equivalent to chicken soup for their ill coach as they rolled past the Lady Panthers, 59-41.

The 18-point victory snapped a two-game skid for Lowder and company which improved to 2-4 on the season heading into this week’s Mid-Carolina Credit Union Kershaw County Christmas Tournament which concludes tonight at E. Clarkson Rhame City Arena in Camden.

“They gave good effort tonight. I was proud of them,” Lowder said. “Now, we have to get ready for the (MCCU) tournament.”

The Lady Knights led from tip to buzzer and fended off a second quarter threat from the Lady Panthers who used a 10-2 run to close the gap to 25-23 with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

Following a 63-19 loss to Andrew Jackson two nights earlier, Lowder was glad to see his girls get off to a strong start on the offensive end. The hostesses scored 16 first quarter points and had 29 by intermission.

“It gave us a little more confidence after the other night,” he said of his team’s quick start. “We stayed on top and when they started to make it tight, we would break it back open again. That’s what we have to do to win this year.”

Tomlin helped set the tone as the sophomore guard drained two of her four 3-point jumpers in the opening six minutes. A short jumper from forward Andrea Greene hiked the lead to 10-7 in a first eight minutes in which the Lady Knights used 3-point buckets from Holley and fellow freshman Madison Dixon to give NC a 16-8 advantage heading into the second quarter.

The Lady Knights would go up by double figures following a Tomlin trey and a Caroline Dixon jumper to make it a 21-10 game with less than five minutes to play in the half.

McBee would chip away at the cushion as Imeshia Harmon triggered a rally with a 3-ball. Consecutive baskets from Hannah Quick, Dyneshia Harmon and a Dikayla Wright stickback with 1:11 left before the break closed the gap to 25-23.

The Lady Knights would get a foul line jumper from center Amoshi Boykin who added a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left which helped NC head to the locker room with a 29-24 lead.

Boykin finished the night with six points while Greene added four as the Lady Knights’ interior game took Lowder’s words of becoming more aggressive to heart.

“One of the things we wanted to do tonight was to be more aggressive and we were tonight,” he said. “We looked to go hard inside and if there wasn’t anything there, we wanted to kick it back out. We still have to improve our inside game but we got more scoring from our post players tonightthan we have in a long time.”

McBee would get a steal and layin from Imeshia Harmon in the opening seconds of the second half to draw to within 29-26. A Greene drive for a pair touched off a 13-1 NC spree which included five points from Tomlin and a pair of Holley jumpers to give the home side some breathing room and a 42-27 advantage with two minutes left to play in a third quarter which ended with the Lady Knights on top, 45-30.

The middle two quarters of the game were a bit uneasy for Lowder as two of his team’s guards started piling up the personal fouls.

“When Peyton (Holley) and Madison (Dixon) both got four fouls,” he said, “that was tough because we need them both in the ballgame. 

“Madison is a good shooter and I have to find a way to get the confidence back in her. I tell her to keep on shooting because she’s going to be OK.”

McBee never threatened in the fourth quarter as, after scoring eight points in the third, Tomlin tossed in six more to close the night.

The only thing which bothered Lowder, aside from a nagging cold, was that the Lady Panthers were getting too many good looks at the basket in finding openings in the NC defense.

“We were a little more aggressive on defense but we let people slide by us in the fourth quarter so, we have to keep working on that,” he said.


MHS (41): Dikayla Wright 5 0-2 11, Shyan Richardson 2 2-2 6, Rebecca Horton 0 1-2 1, Imeshia Harmon 6 0-4 13, Hannah Quick 1 0-0 2, Dyneshia Harmon 2 1-4 6, Destini Collins 1 0-0 2, Keyerea Allison 0 0-2 0. Totals: 17 4-14 41

NC (59): Andrea Greene 2 0-0 4, Kali Tomlin 8 5-6 25, Amoshi Boykin 1 4-4 6, Peyton Holley 7 1-3 17, Assata Kirkley 1 0-0 2, Madison Dixon 1 0-1 3, Caroline Dixon 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 10-14 59

Score by quarters: First: NC, 16-8; Halftime: NC, 29-24; Third: NC, 45-30; Three-point goals: MHS 3 (Wright, D. Harmon, I. Harmon), NC 7 (Tomlin 4, Holley 2, M. Dixon)


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