Lady Knights score emphatic win
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
December 21, 2013 01:01 AM | 1483 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lucy Stone drives inside the arc Friday night at Cherokee. Stone scored a game-high 21 points as River Ridge earned its first win against the more established  Cherokee program.
<BR>Staff photo by Todd Hull
Lucy Stone drives inside the arc Friday night at Cherokee. Stone scored a game-high 21 points as River Ridge earned its first win against the more established Cherokee program.
Staff photo by Todd Hull
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CANTON — Since they began playing varsity basketball in the fall of 2010, the River Ride girls have faced the county’s most established program — Cherokee — and lost each time.

That streak ended Friday night as the Lady Knights won 69-31, dominating every aspect of the game.

With a tight defense and accurate shooting, River Ridge (7-5) played to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter. The gap nearly doubled by the half — 39-20 — before the Lady Knights cruised through the second half.

River Ridge coach Jason Taylor said it means a lot for his team to get a win over an established program like Cherokee, which is typically a solid team.

“It means a lot,” he said. “It’s the first time that we’ve beat them in the history of River Ridge being open. We’ve played them to two-point games and four-point games. We’ve been beaten bad by them. It’s just nice to finally get a win against them.”

Lucy Stone led River Ridge with 21 points, most of which came from the free-throw line in the first half, when she went 12-for-12. Leonor Nickell added 12 points, as a total of nine Lady Knights scored in the game.

Cherokee (1-9) struggled to move the ball on offense and was plagued by turnovers.

The Lady Warriors were led by senior Jordan Cox, who finished with nine points — all from behind the arc.

Taylor said the success his players had Friday night shows how well they’re coming together. The Lady Knights won’t begin their subregion schedule until January, and he is confident they’ll be ready when the time comes.

“The team chemistry is going really well,” he said. “They like each other and they like playing together. I couldn’t be any happier in that department.”

In many ways, this could be the year for River Ridge, which will move to Class AAAAA next season.

Taylor said this could be a chance for the Lady Knights to put together another playoff run, but he wouldn’t rule out that possibility next year, even as they begin playing in a higher classification. He has frequently arranged River Ridge’s schedule with challenging non-region games early in the season, often against teams from higher classifications.

“We are in the same position we were last year,” he said. “We play a very tough non-region schedule to get us ready for our region, or rather, subregion schedule. We have had our ups and downs. We are getting ready to play some really tough teams like St. Pius. It’s definitely going to make sure we have our stuff together, but we should be set up pretty good.

“As far as next year, moving up, the teams we are playing this year non-region will just be a part of our region schedule and just have a little more meaning to it.”

Cherokee will be off until it plays North Atlanta in the Pickens Holiday Tournament on Thursday. Meanwhile, River Ridge will be of until it plays the host team in the St. Pius Christmas Tournament on Friday.
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