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The Lady Wildcats basketball team returned to action on Dec. 19 when they hosted the Waynedale Bears in a non-conference contest.
It was a story of two halves as foul trouble hurt the Cats in the first half and they had to battle from a significant deficit to turn the game around.
But they did.
The Cats responded in the second half by chipping away to take down the Bears by the final score of 51-46.
The Cats got off to a fast start as they reeled off the first five points of the contest with buckets coming from Joelle Martin and Morgan Jeter.
The Bears responded and the first quarter was a back and forth game as no team had a larger lead than three points after the 5-0 start by Canton South. Following the first quarter, South held a slight two point advantage at 14-12.
The second quarter belonged to the Bears.
Waynedale took a quick advantage when it entered the double bonus with 6:36 left in the quarter and received two free throws on every Wildcat foul. They used this advantage and reeled off a 14-1 run to take a commanding lead at 28-17 with just under two minutes left in the first half.
Then, it was time for the comeback.
South crept back in the contest by scoring the final five points of the half on a Hunter Harris deuce and a Jeter three pointer. Those buckets kept South in the game at the half as they trailed 28-22 heading in the locker room.
The big stat in the first half was the Bears sunk 13 of their 16 free throw attempts, including going 8-for-8 once they got into the double bonus. South made three of its four free throw attempts in the first half.
The Cats continued to fight hard in the second half and continued to creep back in the game. Aggressive defense and Bears turnovers let the Cats back into the thick of things. In the third quarter, it was back and forth for most of the eight minutes as South could not cut into the six point advantage the Bears held at the break. Megan Harris decided to take things into her own hands. M. Harris dropped the final five points of the third quarter and momentum swung in the favor of the Cats the rest of the evening as the Bears couldn't recover. After three, the score was 36-35 Bears.
The fourth quarter was all Cats.
South got the lead to stay with 5:48 left in the contest when Katie Uminski dropped in a layup from just under the hoop to give the Cats a 37-36 lead. A bucket from H. Harris and back to back deuces from Caroline Thompson extended the lead to five at 43-38.
The icing on the cake came with just under a minute to go when Jeter connected with H. Harris on a baseball pass and H. Harris sealed the game with a layup to run the score to 47-41. South got another bucket from Uminski and two free throws from Martin to end their scoring night as the Bears could not respond to South's second half surge as the Lady Cats took the non-conference game by the final of 51-46.
Leading the way for the Wildcats was Martin as she piled in 12 points, including eight in the second half. Martin also was the team leader in rebounds with seven.
Also scoring for the Cats were Jeter with nine, Uminski with eight, H. Harris with eight. M. Harris added five points and Thompson with four. Kayla Thompson added three and Ann Marie Trissel added a deuce.
The girls once again laced their shoes and returned to the hardwood on Dec. 22 when they hosted the Minerva Lions at Red Ash Gymnasium.
Through three quarters of play, the Wildcats were dominate. But Minerva made a big comeback and left Canton South with a 63-52 NBC win.
South led the contest 39-31 after 24 minutes of play, but Minerva responded with a 32-13 spurt in the final eight minutes to create a lopsided affair for the 6-1 Lions.
H. Harris led the Cats with 15 points while Jeter chipped in with 12. Uminski added eight points and nine rebounds.
South held the rebounding margin by the final tally of 26-22.
The girls (3-6, 1-3) are back in action on Saturday, Dec. 29 when they travel to Alliance. The Lady Wildcats will then host Akron North on Jan. 2 and Marlington on Jan. 5.