The Southwest Guilford Cowgirls’ basketball team gained a measure of revenge Tuesday at Ardrey Kell with a 51-46 victory over the Knights in the N.C. High School Athletic Association state quarterfinals.
For two straight seasons, Ardrey Kell had ended Southwest Guilford’s title hopes in the playoffs, but that streak ended Tuesday. After the first quarter it looked like the Knights would make it three in a row over Southwest Guilford, leading 14-9 and in control of the game.
But the Cowgirls defense put the clamps on Ardrey Kell, outscoring the Knights 42-32 over the final three quarters, including 16-11 in the final quarter. No player had a bigger impact than Southwest Guilford sophomore Lauren Carter, who calmly went to the free throw line and went 8-of-8 in the fourth quarter. Her clutch free-throw shooting staved off several Ardrey Kell rallies in the final quarter to seal the win.
In the fourth quarter, Southwest Guilford made 16-of-19 free throws. It made 20-of-25 for the game.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
“Being clutch down the stretch was really, really a good thing because we owed this team for two years, and finally got through by making all those free throws,” Carter said.
Southwest Guilford placed four players in double digits with Carter and Faith Price scoring 11, while LaShonda Monk and Jazmine Wilson each had 10. Chase Mohammad led Ardrey Kell with a game-high 15 points while teammate Deniyah Lutz added eight for the Knights.
What went wrong for the Knights after the first quarter?
“You have to give a lot of credit to Southwest Guilford,” said Ardrey Kell coach Jeff Buseick. “They kept grinding in the third quarter and we ended up a little bit short against a quality opponent.”
Ardrey Kell’s star senior forward Chase Mohammad played her final game for the Knights and after the game reflected on the season.
“No one was expecting us to go far, but all it took was heart and that’s what we gave all season,” said Mohammad, who will play college basketball next season at Wofford. “Thanks to the AK community for four years of high school. It’s been pretty good.”
Southwest Guilford will play rival Northwest Guilford Saturday in the 4A Western Final at a location to be determined Wednesday. The Cowgirls are 0-3 this season against Northwest Guilford who plays in the same conference.
THREE WHO MATTERED
Chase Mohammad: Ardrey Kell senior led all scorers with 15 points in closing out a successful high school career.
Lauren Carter: Cowgirls sophomore forward scored ten points with eight points coming in the decisive fourth quarter, all on free throws
Deniyah Lutz: Knights’ sophomore guard scored six points in the first quarter to stake Ardrey Kell to a 14-9 lead after the first eight minutes. She finished with eight points.
THEY SAID IT
“The biggest thing is the program. We’ll have players come, we’ll have players go. We’ll have coaches come, we’ll have coaches go. I didn’t start this thing, I’m just here to continue to grow and build it. We’re excited about the future here.” Ardrey Kell coach Jeff Buseick on the future of the Knights’ basketball program, which includes losing seven seniors to graduation.
Southwest Guilford (22-9), Ardrey Kell (24-7)
SOUTHWEST GUILFORD 9 11 15 16 - 51
ARDREY KELL 14 7 14 11 - 46
SOUTHWEST GUILFORD: Jazmine Wilson 11, Faith Price 11, LaShonda Monk 10, Lauren
Carter 10, Medley 6, Bryant 3.
ARDREY KELL: Chase Mohammad 15, Lutz 8, J. Mohammad 6, Booker 6, Griffin 6, Salaam 3,