CARY — Jordan’s girls’ basketball team was down 15 in the early third quarter, but coach Ty Cox was patient. He was confident that his Falcons would be able erase the deficit with continued strong play on defense.
Cox was right.
Jordan clamped down on host Panther Creek in the second half, allowing the Falcons to come back for a 45-41 opening-night win.
The Catamounts (0-1) scored just eight points in the third quarter and five points in the fourth quarter.
“I told the girls we’ve got to hold them to single-digit quarters in the second half,” Cox said. “It’s just a testament to what we’ve been working on. We’ve just been focusing on defense. We’ve spent very little time in the preseason working on our offense. I felt that if we focus on defense, that can carry us until we get our offense where it needs to get to.”
When Jordan (1-0) took its first second-half lead, it was already on a 21-4 run. There was no turning point in the run, just a gradual clawing into the lead over one and a half quarters.
“We couldn’t quite stop the steamroll of momentum they had,” Panther Creek coach Geoff Bowman said. “We had some unforced turnovers and that’s kind of what kills us right now.”
Jordan’s Bayley Coleman-Cox had 14 points, mostly from the free-throw line.
Sophomore post player Salita Greene had a game-high 23 points and added 14 rebounds.
“I can’t say enough about how Salita Greene more than held her own out there against two D1 post players,” Cox said. “That’s what we need from her and that’s what I expect. I demand a lot from her and she certainly delivered tonight.”
Panther Creek senior forward Mercedes Harris had just two points, but added a game-high 18 rebounds.
The Catamounts were led in points by Jordan Webb and Brittany Jewett, each with 12 points. Senior center Allie Tuttle added 11 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
“We didn’t do anything with the post in the second half, and I think that hurt us,” Bowman said. “We have a lot of heart, and we’re going to learn from tonight. I just wish we had been on the other end of it.”
Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps