The 20-point win came on the heels of two disappointing losses in the Best of Preps tournament for coach Rachel Moore’s Lady Raiders against Chattanooga Christian and Marion County.
“In the big picture, you want to end (your pre-holiday schedule) on a win,” said coach Moore as she looks forward to a few days off for her coaching staff and players.
The first half of the season has had its ups and downs for the Lady Raiders, but coach Moore was pleased with Wednesday’s win as the Lady Raiders improved to 6-5. The Cleveland girls will return to action Jan. 4 with a big game against Cookeville on the Cleveland floor.
“This may have been our best defensive game,” Moore said of Wednesday’s play. The Lady Raiders limited the Lady Patriots (2-7) to only 14 points in the final two quarters, with CSAS scoring only three free throws in the final period.
Jordan Capron sparked Cleveland through the opening half, getting nine of her 10 points before intermission.
Scoring leaders Qetuwrah Abdullah-Mohammed and Noraziah Berry picked up the offensive pace in the second half, Mohammed earning honors with 16 points and Berry tossing in 11.
Brianna Wesley was the only CSAS player to reach double figures in scoring with 13.
The pace of the game was hectic through the first period. Cleveland scored the final four points of the quarter for a 12-8 lead and were able to remain on top the rest of the way. The Lady Raiders, behind the play of Capron, jumped to an 11-point lead, 23-12, and were on top at the halftime break by eight, 28-20.
Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences found scoring difficult against Cleveland’s defense in the second half, with Aatarah Abdullah-Mohammed and Jalesa Perkins adding to the defensive effort.
Berry scored four points at the start of the third quarter and joined with Mohammed to keep the Lady Raiders comfortably ahead for the remainder of the game.
Mohammed scored the first five points of the fourth quarter for a 51-31 Cleveland lead and coaches of both teams used reserves during the final minutes of the game.
LADY RAIDERS 54, LADY PATRIOTS 34
Cleveland 12 16 12 14 — 54
CSAS 8 1 2 11 3 — 34
Lady Raiders (54) — A. Abdullah-Muhammed, Perkins 5, Qetuwrah Abdullah-Mohammed 16, Langford 4, Jordan Capron 10, Noraziah Berry 11, Anderson 6, McIllwain, Brown, Barber 2, Courtney.
CSAS (34) —Brianna Wesley 13, Gordon, Taylor 4, McConnell 3, Garner, Ziegler, Mayweather, Billen, McPherson, Wiggins, Smith, Mitchell, Cooper, Benn.
3-goals: Cleveland 3 (Perkins, Capron, Anderson); CSAS 2 (McConnell, Ziegler).