Rams topple Eagles
SOUTH CHINA -- The Cony girls basketball team missed its first six shots, failed to score until the game was three minutes old, and otherwise struggled early in all facets of its Eastern A game against Erskine on Thursday night.
And then the second half rolled around.
Josie Lee scored 20 points, including four in a key 14-4 run to open the second half, to lift Cony past Erskine 60-40.
"The shots fell finally," Cony Coach Karen Magnusson said. "But I don´t think this was the intensity we wanted. To be where we want to be, we have to play harder and with more focus."
Haley Quirion finished with 16 points and Emily Quirion added 10 for the Rams (3-2), who led 30-22 at the half before pulling away.
Bridget Humphrey had a big game for Erskine (0-5), scoring a team-high 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. She also blocked two shots.
"We just have to finish," Erskine Coach Scott Corey said. "I think the difference in the game was the first four minutes of the third quarter,"
Indeed, it was. Erskine turned the ball over on six of its first seven possessions of the third quarter. Cony, meanwhile, got to the foul line and started knocking down some shots to gain separation.
Hayley Quirion sparked the run with four points, including an easy basket off a turnover.
"They started scoring but I expect big games from everybody," Magnusson said. "But Erskine did what it had to do to stay in the game."
The Rams had opportunities throughout the first half to build a big lead, but the Eagles never wilted.
Cony used a 13-2 run in the first quarter, fueled by a pair of inside baskets from Lee, to grab the momentum.
Erskine, which consistently attacked the Cony press with home run throws that lead to easy layups, pulled within 16-13 early in the second quarter on a Humphrey putback.
Humphrey scored eight points in the second quarter, including six straight that gave Erskine a brief 21-20 lead with about 2:30 left in the quarter.
However, for as much as Cony struggled early, it again gained some separation thanks to a pair of deep 3-pointers from Hayley Quirion in the final 1:30 of the half.
"We played tough," Corey said. "We wanted to keep them along the perimeter."
Bill Stewart -- 621-5640