After starting the season 2-6, the Carvers Bay Lady Bears now have a winning record for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
The Lady Bears won their fourth straight game Jan. 8, defeating Latta 37-32 at home. The win moves Carvers Bay to 9-8 on the season and 3-2 in Region 7 in Class 2A. Latta is 6-4 and drops to 3-2 in region play.
Carvers Bay is tied for third place in the region standings with Latta.
“We are getting better,” Lady Bears head coach Issiah Tucker said. “We are working a little better together, but I’m still looking for the right combination.”
Junior guard Christian Moore scored 11 points for the Lady Bears and came up with several steals on the defensive end. Tucker said Moore is an all around good player, but needs to slow down and make sure she finishes easy baskets.
“I tell her everyday, ‘You are the best thing on the floor. But you have to slow it down and take control; control of the game and control of the team,’” Tucker said.
Coles said at the beginning of the season, team chemistry was an issue. One of the biggest differences in the team’s play between then and now has been the emergence of Moore, who did not play for the Lady Bears last season.
“At the beginning of the season we weren’t all together,” Coles said. “We were all playing individual ball. In the beginning we didn’t have Moore. She brought big things to the team and we can play as a team now.”
Tucker said it has taken some time to get Moore comfortable in his system, but now she has found a rhythm.
Sophomore guard Kinsley Reed scored nine points. Sophomore guard Za'Niah Rush finished with seven points and Coles added six.
Tucker said he wants Coles to be more aggressive in the post and have more control and confidence in her shot.
Junior guard Rayne Nolan led the Lady Vikings with 11 points and junior point guard Ri'Ana Green added nine. Sophomore guard Moya McDuffie followed with seven points.
The game started slow for the Lady Bears, who trailed 11-3 in the first quarter until sophomore Kinsley Reed banked home a three to make the score 11-6 at the end of the quarter. Moore scored the other three Lady Bears points in the quarter.
Carvers Bay chipped away at the Vikings lead in the second quarter and with seconds left in the half, Moore made a difficult layup to tie the game at 16-16. The Lady Bears outscored the Vikings 10-5 in the second quarter.
Coles and Rush combined for eight points in the second quarter. Green scored all five of Latta’s points in the quarter.
Tucker said rebounding was the biggest issue for his team in the first half.
“We didn’t get any rebounds in the first half. I fussed at halftime about rebounding. We needed to start getting the rebounds so we can get into the offense. If we miss a shot, we need to get the offensive rebound and put it back up. That wasn’t happening in the first half.”
The Lady Bears opened the third quarter with a layup and built a 22-18 lead. The Lady Vikings went on a 5-0 run with four minutes to go to retake the lead, 23-22 with just over a minute left. Carvers Bay would make one more basket just before the end of the quarter to take a 24-23 lead. Nolan and McDuffie were the only Lady Vikings to score in the third quarter.
The Bears never trailed in the fourth quarter. The Lady Vikings cut the lead to 29-27 midway through the quarter, but the Lady Bears responded with a 6-1 run and opened up a seven-point lead. Five different Carvers Bay players scored in the fourth quarter.
Carvers Bay will look to keep their winning streak alive on Friday when they face in-county rival Andrews at Andrews High Jan. 11. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Girl's Basketball scores from Jan. 8
Manning 68 Georgetown 37
Andrews 50 Hannah-Pamplico 39
Bishop England 80 Waccamaw 8
St. James 25 Conway 17