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SC girls pull away from Hurricane 69-46

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After watching a 15-point first-half lead dwindle down to four midway through the third quarter against Hurricane, South Charleston coach John Testa decided to let his team do a little self-motivating.

"I asked them an important question - 'What gets you fired up?' " Testa said. "We were playing dull, we were playing not to lose - just not getting after it, not aggressive. They started picking it up. Honestly, I don't think things can bother us, we bother us."

Whatever went through the minds of SC's players should be left on repeat because the result was an immediate 14-0 run en route to a runaway 69-46 home win on Thursday.

The smaller Black Eagles (8-6) were deeper and more active than the Redskins as seven SC players had at least five rebounds and Hurricane was forced into 20 turnovers.

Lina Villanueva was a spark plug all night for SC, hitting 12 of 23 shots for a game-high 28 points to go with four steals.

Villanueva said a 51-48 loss at Hurricane earlier in the year was all the motivation she needed.

"I was excited all week to play them again because we lost to them," Villanueva said. "Whenever I was out there I wasn't thinking when I was playing because when I think I don't do good. I was just being me and playing as a team player and it worked out." 

There were a lot of team players for the Black Eagles as Alliyah Webb (seven points, four rebounds), Meredith Lauerman (13 rebounds) and Zhakiya Brown (six points, five rebounds) in particular contributed big minutes off the bench when SC got into a bit of foul trouble.

Then there was freshman Taliah Cashwell, possibly the smallest player in stature on the floor at any given time, who mixed it up enough to gather 11 rebounds to go with her 13 points.

"They made a lot of shots and we had a lot of turnovers," Hurricane assistant coach Austin Lowe said. "We turned the ball over and they killed us in transition. We didn't get back on defense real well and we didn't make a lot of shots."

Hurricane (5-8) shot just 12 for 61 from the floor and a 21-point effort from sophomore Abby Watson wasn't nearly enough to keep the Redskins afloat.

Taneisha Sturdavent grabbed 20 rebounds and Brooke Crompton had seven points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for  Hurricane.

Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pritt@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.

 


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