Charlotte Catholic took its time to earn an important SoMeck 4A win.
Senior guard Sophie Rossitch poured in a game-high 26 points in the Cougars’ 50-47 girls’ high school basketball victory against Harding on the Rams’ home court to move a game behind conference leader Ardrey Kell.
Every time Harding threatened to pull away Wednesday, Catholic (14-6, 9-1) responded, especially in the second half when Rossitch, a senior guard, scored 19 points.
“It was all about patience,” she said. “We had this motto this week, poise under stress, and we just needed to keep our structure as a team and stay calm.”
Harding (11-5, 6-2) punished Catholic inside with the duo of Myicha Drakeford and Brianna Hamrick scoring 16 and 15 points, respectively. The Rams led by as many as six points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t corral Catholic.
“It was almost there,” Harding coach Anthony Jones said. “Catholic is a good team. They’re disciplined, sound and very fundamental. They execute and they played some good ball, and that’s what basketball is all about. It was a fun game to watch.”
Catholic made its decisive run from the perimeter and with better ball security. Rossitch helped with 11 fourth-quarter points. The Cougars’ zone defense also took a toll, clogging Harding’s passing lanes and limiting open shots.
“In the third quarter we were kind of freaking out, going quick, throwing the ball away and they were getting easy (baskets),” Rossitch said. “In the fourth quarter, we slowed down. We had a lot of energy and that helped us a lot.”
After trailing 43-37 early in the fourth, Catholic reeled off 11 unanswered points, including nine from Rossitch to go ahead 48-43 with 1 minute, 20 seconds left.
Harding responded with baskets by Hamrick and Drakeford to pull within a point with 6.7 seconds remaining. Rossitch drained a pair of free throws on the Cougars’ next possession for the final margin.
“It’s a big confidence boost,” Catholic coach Robert Conrad said. “To come out and win a close one against a good team, I thought it was big for us.”
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