RED SPRINGS — For some teams, the switch from a man defense to a zone defense means playing a little more conservatively. The Red Springs girls basketball team doesn’t operate that way.
It wasn’t until the Red Devils made the switch from man to a 2-3 zone in the second quarter of Friday’s 42-28 win against West Columbus that the Red Devils got into an aggressive mindset.
“We started out playing man and they just weren’t working for me, so we moved to 2-3,” Red Springs coach Steven Sinclair said. “You’d think the zone would make them more relaxed but a zone for us is more aggressive than a man is.”
The switch came after a first quarter where the Red Devils (6-9, 4-2) struggled out of the gate and fell behind 9-6. The rough start was caused not only by the defensive issues, but by missed layups and a hesitance to capitalize on open looks.
The Red Devils hit only one field goal in the first quarter, relying on free throws for the majority of scoring.
“Everyone was catching the ball and looking and just swinging the ball,” Sinclair said. “Everyone was swinging and not taking shots.”
Once the defense locked in, the Red Devils took charge, starting the second quarter with a 10-0 run. West Columbus didn’t score a point until hitting a layup with two minutes left in the quarter. Largely behind guard Robyn McPhaul, Red Springs eventually took a 20-14 lead at halftime.
Once the second half started, the Red Devils used their transition game to sprint away with it. McPhaul scored the quarter’s opening points, then center Shantana Norris found her stride, sprinting from the wing of the defense to the paint for easy transition points.
“She’s can probably sprint with every guard on our team, so we put her out there and it gives us an advantage,” Sinclair said.
The McPhaul/Norris combo gave Red Springs a 36-20 lead at the end of the quarter and the margin never got much closer.
McPhaul finished with 15 points and Norris had 12.
The West Columbus offense was led by the duo of Lataysha Mason and Princess Flowers, who had 13 points each.
Despite getting the win, Sinclair said the team was largely disappointed in how it played and will need to do better to stay near the top of the Three Rivers Conference standings.
“After that win, nobody was satisfied,” he said. “We came in the lockerroom, nobody was happy, nobody was smiling, everybody was still like ‘We should have played better.’”
The Red Springs boys (10-5, 5-1) overcame a slow start to beat West Columbus 68-57.
The Red Devils rallied behind Jalik Foster’s 23 points to come back after trailing 19-13 in the first quarter. They allowed nine point in the second to tie it up and had a two-point lead after the third. A 23-14 advantage in the final quarter was the difference.
Jaqwan McLaurin had 12 points for Red Springs and Anthony Davis led West Columbus with 25.
Area boys roundup
ROWLAND — Whiteville’s boys scored early and often in a rout of South Robeson, 77-36.
The Mustangs stumbled to 2-9 overall and 0-5 in the Three Rivers Conference in Quincy Johnson’s first season.
In Southern Pines, Pinecrest’s boys captured their first Southeastern Conference win, downing Purnell Swett, 65-49.
Fairmont kept its place atop the TRC with a 79-73 win against South Columbus and St. Pauls lost 57-50 to East Columbus.
Area girls roundup
ROWLAND — A week after recording the third quadruple-double in girls state basketball history, A’Terria Quick poured in 42 of her team’s 49 points Friday night but it wasn’t enough in a 57-49 loss to Whiteville.
The Lady Mustangs struggled from the floor down the stretch, but did erase a double-digit deficit in the final minutes.
“A’Terria’s rocking right now,” South Robeson coach Lula Ratley said. “She knew she would have to carry us this season. It’s a lot to ask of sophomore.”
In Southern Pines, Alysa Hunt’s 15 points and eight rebounds weren’t enough for Purnell Swett as the Lady Rams fell to Pinecrest, 53-35.
Fairmont’s girls notched a key road win at South Columbus, 35-34 and St. Pauls lost 49-25 at East Columbus.