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Cave City slides by Salem

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Two things the Cave City Cavewomen are well noted for are pressure defense and the ability to shoot 3-pointers.

Both of these played major roles in allowing Cave City to break loose in the second half of a tight game to knock off the Salem Lady Greyhounds 70-49 in 3A-1 East Conference play Jan. 12 at the Dawg Pound in Salem.

Later in the evening, the visitors from Cave City made it a sweep, as the Cavemen recorded a 72-61 victory over the Greyhounds.

In girls' action, the Cavewomen cranked things up a notch or two in the second half of play.

With Cave City holding the narrowest of leads, 27-26, at the half, the Cavewomen found their long-distance stroke in the second two periods of play, racking up 33 points from beyond the arc as they broke free of the Lady Hounds' grasp.

Cave City was in front 23-17 late in the second period when Salem closed the first half strong.

Jenny Neal (nine points), Jamie James (six points), Jordan Nelson (10 points) and Victoria Gatewood all hit big buckets inside the last 2:30 of the second period to pull Salem within one at the half.

After intermission, however, things quickly went sour for the Lady Hounds.

Salem turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the third period.

By contrast, the Cavewomen drilled a pair of 3-balls, one by Jordan Witt (19 points) and one by Brittney Landers (14 points), on their first two possessions of the third, not a good combination of events for the Lady Greyhounds. Witt and Landers teamed up to knock down eight of Cave City's 10 3-pointers in the second half of play.

Nelson stopped Cave City's run with back-to-back layups to keep Salem within five, 35-30.

Then Cave City stepped on the gas again with an 8-0 burst, fueled by treys from Landers and Witt.

Down 43-30 with 2:20 left in the third, Salem went on a run of its own, a 7-0 spurt.

Terra Kinder got things rolling for the Lady Hounds with a long 3-ball, followed by jumpers from Laci Long and Tiffany Broyles.

But Cave City grabbed the last swing of momentum in the frame via a 3-pointer from Leah Fugett (15 points) with two ticks left on the clock. Fugett's shot beyond the arc staked the Cavewomen to a 46-37 lead after three.

Cave City's trapping defense kept Salem off balance long enough in the final frame for the Cavewomen to continue to extend their lead, ending the evening with a 70-49 victory.

Both teams basically treaded water in the first period, as turnovers on both ends of the court ruled the early going.

Cave City had taken a 5-4 lead on a layup by Kayla Qualls (nine points), before Salem moved in front late in the frame.

A layup by Lairen Hall (three points) and charity toss by Ashley Cassidy (six points) gave the Lady Hounds a 7-5 lead after one.

The contest was knotted three times in the second period before Cave City managed to edge out to a 27-26 lead at intermission.

Amie Willmuth finished with four points for Cave City, while Tiffany England added three. Whitney Stauffer, Rebekah Roebuck and Pasha Melton tallied two points apiece for the Cavewomen.

Jody McCollough logged six points for Salem.

Things on the boys' side of things were not that different from the girls' clash.

The Greyhounds led the whole first half before Cave City managed to open up enough breathing room in the second half to post a conference win, 72-61.

Salem's inside-outside punch of Derek Estes and Lance Powell kept the wheels turning for the Hounds in the first period, as they combined for 17 of their team's 19 points in the first eight minutes of play. Powell finished the night with a game-high 22 points, with Estes just off the pace at 21 points.

Cave City's answer for the Estes/Powell combo in the first came in the person of Jared Harris. Harris hit for nine points in the stanza to keep Cave City close. Harris finished with 18 points.

Cave City couldn't get any close-range shots to drop, and this allowed Salem to take a 19-12 lead after the first period.

After a jumper from Jeff Nelson (six points) early in the second, the Hounds' advantage stood at 23-15.

Cave City then clipped off seven straight points to pull within one, 23-22.

Ethan Smith (10 points) started the Caveman runout with a triple, while Jordan Smith (14 points) sank back-to-back layups.

Seth Lindbloom (four points) busted up this Cave City run with a jumper and Salem regrouped long enough to take a 33-30 lead to intermission.

It didn't take Cave City long to grab the lead in the third period.

An old-fashioned 3-point play from Jordan Smith on the first touch after the break tied the contest at 33-all. Then on Cave City's next trip downcourt, Ethan Smith hit a bucket to push the Cavemen on top 35-33.

Dilan Willmuth (eight points) then chipped in with back-to-back hoops, part of a 12-2 Cave City run that pushed the Cavemen on top by 10, 47-37.

The Hounds ended the period with baskets by Shane Smith (three points) and Estes, but still trailed 51-42 after three.

Salem kept grinding in the final eight minutes of action, but could get no closer than six points.

Cave City struggled from the charity stripe in the fourth, going nine-for-19, but still posted a 72-61 win over Salem.

Brandon West logged six points for Cave City, with Aaron Holley adding three. Derek Bell finished with two, while Brandon Milligan hit for one.

Matt Cochran tallied three points for Salem, with Forrest Rose adding two.

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