By Thad Requet
The 2018 version of the North/South basketball rivalry was a split, with the Lady Birds coming out victorious and the Cardinals falling by a point on Friday, Nov. 30 at North Shelby.
South Shelby 45
North Shelby 35
The Lady Birds jumped out to a 4-1 lead on baskets by Diane Mayes and Mallory Wood. Meredith O’Neal scored with 2:49 to play in the quarter to give the Lady Birds a 6-3 lead. They would hold a one point 6-5 lead after one quarter.
After stretching the lead to 10-5 with six minutes to play in the half, the Lady Birds went cold the rest of the half. North Shelby went on a 9-0 run to take a 14-10 lead before Wood answered with a basket to cut it to 14-12 with 3:19 to play in the half. That would be the final points for South Shelby in the half. North Shelby scored the final four points to push its lead to 18-12 at the half.
O’Neal scored the first four points of the second half to cut the lead to 18-16 with 6:23 to play in the third quarter. The Lady Raiders answered with back to back baskets to push the lead back up to 22-16. O’Neal kept the Lady Birds in the game by scoring their next six points. South Shelby was trailing 28-22 with 1:55 to play in the third quarter. Six points by O’Neal along with a 3-pointer by Wood sparked a 9-0 run that put the Lady Birds back on top 29-28 after three quarters.
Baskets by O’Neal and Emma Dovin stretched the run out to 13-0 and made the score 33-28 Lady Birds with 7:12 to play in the third quarter.
North Shelby came back and tied the game 35 all with 3:03 to play in the game. But that would be all they would be able to come up with. South Shelby closed the game out with a 10-0 run as Mayes, Carly Collins, Katie Mitchell and Wood all scored to secure the win.
O’Neal led the way with 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Mallory Wood chipped in 10 points, including a 3-pointer. She also had seven assists and five steals.
North Shelby 56
South Shelby 55
The South Shelby Cardinals had several opportunities but couldn’t come up with a win at North Shelby. They lost a 10 point halftime lead and fell to the Raiders by a single point, 56-55.
After trailing 6-2 with 4:38 to play in the opening quarter, the Cardinals finally found some offense, scoring nine straight points, including a two 3-pointers, one by Guy Timbrook and the other by Shaun Wilkerson, to make it 11-6 South Shelby with 2:08 to play in the quarter. The Cardinals held on to a 14-10 lead after one.
Both teams traded baskets and lead changes for much of the second quarter. A basket by Timbrook with 4:15 to play in the half pushed the South Shelby lead to 25-22.
The Raiders tied the game at 26-26 with 2:26 to play in the half. A basket by Wood gave the Cards the lead. Cole Mitchell knocked down a pair of free throws. Timbrook completed a three point play with 1:12 to play in the half to make it 33-26 South Shelby. Mitchell nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to extend the lead to 36-26 at the half.
The Raiders opened the third quarter by scoring the first four points to cut the lead to 36-30 with 7:11 to play in the quarter. Mitchell responded by knocking down a pair of free throws.
With the Cardinals leading 40-32, the turning point of the game was North Shelby’s 10-0 run that turned an eight point deficit into a one point lead over the Cardinals. Wood hit one of two free throws to snap the run, but the Raiders scored with 12 seconds to play in the quarter to take a 44-41 lead over the Cardinals after three quarters of play.
South Shelby was able to get to the free throw line and hit five of six to start the fourth quarter and regain the lead 46-44 with 7:14 to play in the game. The Raiders would answer and regain the lead. David Fenton made a pair of free throws that gave the Cards a 49-48 lead with 4:59 to play in the game.
The Raiders went back up 53-50 on a pair of free throws with 3:13 to play. Wood and Timbrook answered with baskets putting the Cards back up 54-53 with 2:02 to play. North Shelby completed a three point play to go up 56-54 with 1:23 to play. The Raiders had a chance to seal the game down the stretch but went 0 for 6 from the free throw line in the final minute. The Cards’ Brock Wood hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to 56-55 with 47 seconds to play. A couple of missed shots in the final seconds preserved the win for North Shelby.
Brock Wood led the Cards with 23 points including a pair of 3-pointers, and Guy Timbrook added 12 points including a 3-pointer.