GREENSBORO Canton Pisgah threw Bandys a few surprises during Wednesday night’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A girls Western Regional semifinal.
That the Black Bears’ players would be fast came as no surprise to the Trojans; that they would outrebound, outshoot and outhustle Bandys on defense did.
The result was a 57-45 Pisgah victory against the Trojans at UNC Greensboro’s Fleming Gymnasium, sending the Black Bears (25-6) on to their first regional championship game in 24 years.
Madi Story scored 18 points and Sarah Goble added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Bandys (27-3), which shot just 34.1 percent (15 of 44) from the field, hit 15 of 26 from the free-throw line and was outrebounded 35-27.
“Right out of the gate, they had a lot of defensive intensity,” Madi Story said. “We had to match it, and we didn’t match it very well. We didn’t play up to their level.”
Those numbers, however, were skewed significantly in the second half – the Trojans shot just 26.1 percent (6 of 23) and were outrebounded 24-12, including a 10-6 edge in offensive boards.
“They were quick all the way around, and hustled like the dickens,” Bandys coach Mark Story said of Pisgah. “We didn’t rebound well, and that’s something we usually do, and we missed foul shots. We can’t miss that many foul shots in a big game like this.
“But the biggest thing was our intensity – at times, it was where it needed to be. It’s just that we didn’t put it together for all four quarters the way they did. Their girls got after it for all four quarters.”
Sheridan Pressley had 19 points and freshman Brooklyn Allen added 17 for the Black Bears, who saw a 10-point lead early in the second quarter shrink to 27-23 at the break.
The Trojans then pulled within 27-25 on Sierra Brotherton’s layup 22 seconds into the third quarter. But Pisgah responded with a 9-0 run to push its lead back into double digits by the midway point of the period.
The Black Bears led by as many as 15 points three times in the fourth quarter, the last at 57-42 on Pressley’s layup with 2:23 left.