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Central takes win over NCA Lady Gens

By By Rocky Higginbotham/Special to The Star
Dec. 5, 2001
DECATUR The breaks keep going the opposite way of the Central Academy girls' basketball team this season. But at the same time, the Lady Vikings continue to get better.
Central downed the host Newton County Academy Lady Generals 48-37 Tuesday night in semifinal action here at the NCA Tournament, winning its second straight contest and moving into Thursday's tourney finals against arch-rival Kemper Academy.
Tuesday's other semifinal action saw the Kemper girls beat Heidelberg Academy 59-44, while the NCA boys topped Central 49-42 and the Heidelberg Academy boys beat Kemper 47-29.
Thursday's finals pit the Central and Kemper girls against one another at approximately 7 p.m., with Newton and Heidelberg to follow in the boys' championship at about 8:30. The 4 p.m. girls' consolation game has NCA taking on Heidelberg, while Kemper and Central meet in the boys' consolation at 5:30.
Central 48
NCA girls 37
Central, without two starters for seven of its first nine games, welcomed the return of senior forward Carrie Coker Tuesday.
But while Coker gave the Lady Vikings a big lift, the team was still without two starters: Six-footer Meagan Stokes and guard Lindley Simpson. Stokes is still recovering from knee surgery, while Simpson turned an ankle in practice Monday ironically in a collision with Coker.
Central was in control most of the way. The Lady Vikings got a steal and layup from Lynlee Healy to end the first quarter with a 14-9 lead, then opened the second quarter with a 12-2 run that included two 3-pointers from Coker.
It was a 28-15 game at halftime and a 43-19 lead for Central going into the final period.
Coker finished with 14 points, while Leslie Hancock had 15 points, eight assists and six steals to lead Central. Olivia Reed scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Cassie Cleveland led NCA with 12 points. Andi Chesney had eight points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots and Casey McMahon scored seven points and handed out five assists.
Kemper girls 59
Heidelberg Acad. 44
The Lady Rams won their fifth in a row and improved to 8-3 on the season behind a balanced scoring attack.
Blair Johnson was the only Kemper player in double figures with 15 points, but Kayla Mosley added nine, Jessica Harpole eight, Eve Darnell seven and Libby Myers five.
The Lady Rams led by five after one quarter and by 12 at halftime, but stretched that advantage to 48-26 heading into the final quarter.
Ashley McGinnis and Katie Barnett scored 14 points apiece for Heidelberg Academy, while Suzanne Lightsey had eight points for the Lady Rebels.
NCA boys 49
Central 42
The host Generals got a big night out of Wil Bean as they pulled away late and kept the Vikings winless.
Newton County Academy, now 3-5 on the year, got 28 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots from Bean. The junior forward was 12-of-15 from the floor.
The Generals led just 15-12 after one quarter and 23-18 at halftime. Central twice got within one point in the second half, but the Vikings never led after the opening period.
Central, now 0-7, scored nine of its 16 field goals from 3-point range. The Vikings were led by Tyler Huerkamp's 16 points, while Ross Brown had 14 points and seven steals and Adam Hailey 10 points.
Heidelberg boys 47
Kemper 29
In the Tuesday finale, Lloyd Windham nailed four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 16 points to help Heidelberg Academy beat Kemper.
The contest saw the teams combine for just nine points in the first quarter. Heidelberg was up 17-7 at halftime and 22-7 early in the third before Kemper scored the next 13 points to pull within two.
But Heidelberg got a big 3 from Windham to end the quarter, and the Rebels outscored KA 18-7 in the fourth period.
Jonathan Crawford was also in double figures for HA, scoring 10 points.
Justin Wiggins led Kemper with 13, while John Warren scored 10.