Dec 26, 2013
The Chapel Hill Lady Tigers used balanced scoring and a late-first half run Thursday to down Durham Hillside 57-40 in the opening game of the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket of the 2013 HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
Ten players scored for the Tigers, who advanced to Friday's 2:30 p.m. semifinal game against the winner of West Craven vs Cary. Chapel Hill is making its first appearance in the HSOT Invite.
Guards Raziyah Farrington and Tamia Eatmon led the Tigers, scoring 12 points and 11 points, respectively.
Chapel Hill head coach Sherry Norris credited her guards with steadying the Tigers against Hillside's pressure defense.
"We have a really strong backcourt with Tamia Eatmon and Raziyah Farrington, because basically we are a team of guards," Norris said. "Tamia does a really good job of getting us into our offense and pushing the ball up the court. They showed a lot of maturity and composure."
Chapel Hill was hot early in the game, building a 12-3 lead in the first quarter before Hillside was able to consistently break full court pressure and find some offensive rhythm.
Once the Hornets did find that rhythm, they made several trips to the free throw line to close the Tigers' lead to 16-12 after the first eight minutes.
Both offenses slowed a bit in the second quarter, but Chapel Hill closed the half on a 11-4 run to build a 28-21 lead at the break.
Chapel Hill was balanced offensively, with eight different players scoring points in the half. Senior center Catherine Romaine, a Bucknell signee, led the Tigers with 7 points in the first 16 minutes. She finished the game with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.
"Catharine rebounds so well, and she's a good defensive player," Norris said. "She made some key plays at key times."
Tykyrah Williams led Hillside with 20 points and 7 rebounds, and Justine Lyons chipped in 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Hillside pulled to within three points midway through the third quarter, but the Tigers slowly pulled away in the fourth, building their lead to double digits late in the game.
"We knew Hillside was very physical, and we saw that today. But I thought our girls did a great job breaking their press," Norris said.
Hillside head coach Ovester Grays said his team has a long way to go before it will be ready to put pressure on opponents like he would like. He also commented on his team's 19 turnovers and missed free throws.
"When you shoot less than 50 percent from the line and have 19 turnovers, it's not a good way to win a basketball game," he said. "We've got a great group of talent and a great group of kids, we just haven't developed into a great team yet."
The Hornets will play the loser of the West Craven-Cary matchup at 10 a.m. on Friday.
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