WEDDINGTON The Anson and Weddington girls were used to winning coming into Friday’s night clash between two of the state’s top-10 3A teams, as they had combined to win 25 of their past 26 games.
Weddington, No. 7 in the state and No. 14 in the Observer Sweet 16, proved to the better team, at least for this night, as it jumped out to an early lead and never gave it back, beating Anson, No. 9 in the state and No. 13 in the Observer Sweet 16, 51-42.
The Warriors’ (14-2, 3-0) victory, their 13th win in the past 14 games, put them in first place in the Southern Carolinas’ Conference.
“We knew this was the biggest game of the year for us so far, especially in conference,” Weddington guard Stephanie Watt said. “Getting a win was a huge step for us towards trying to win our conference.”
Watts, a North Carolina commit, led the way in her typical all-around fashion with 21 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and four steals.
But her Weddington backcourt mate, Jada Craig, also came up big with many timely baskets, scoring 20 points on the night.
That Craig-Watts combination struck early and often, as they went on a 9-0 run to end the first quarter and never let the Bearcats closer than five points the rest of the way.
“The girls were really fired up for this game, but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Weddington coach Ryun Cook said. “But to come out and beat the No. 7 team in the state like this at home is huge. I was really proud of how hard all our girls played tonight.”
While Anson (13-2, 2-1) got down early, they fought hard all night with Chanel Pauldo leading the way with 17 points, including three second-half 3-pointers that got her team back in the game. The Bearcats’ Shinitra Little (10 points, eight rebounds) and Jaida Robinson (nine points, 11 rebounds) were also big inside.
The teams only have to wait two weeks until the rematch on Jan. 31 at Anson, which is sure to be another battle.
Boys: Weddington 75, Anson 62
The Weddington boys jumped on Anson early, building a 13-point halftime lead, extending their advantage to as many as 16 late in the third quarter.
The Bearcats (7-9, 2-1), who went at a frenetic pace all night rotating five men every few minutes, wore on the Warriors, making a 12-0 run to start the final quarter to cut it to a 63-60 deficit.
Weddington (16-1, 3-0), which has won 14 straight games, finished the game on their own 12-2 run to also claim the SCC conference lead.
Blake Waud led the Warriors with 16 points and 18 rebounds, while Demonta Oates had 14 points, Brandon Watts 13 points and 12 rebounds and Chris Trevisan added 12 points.
Meanwhile, Parrish Stevons led Anson with 14 points.
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