HILLSBOROUGH Thanks to snow, sub-freezing cold and three days of no classes for local schools, Chapel Hill’s girls basketball team missed a lot of court time last week.
To make up for the absences, CHHS coach Sherry Norris had her team dress during the start of the junior varsity game Friday at Cedar Ridge and sent the varsity Tigers onto the court at halftime for eight extra minutes of shooting.
The result was a quick start for Chapel Hill, which showed few ill effects of its layoff. Paced by three baskets from autumn West, the Tigers grabbed a 15-2 lead and never looked back as they took a 76-27 win.
West ended with a game-high 20 points, while Catherine Romaine added 15 and Jessica Wall 13 to help Chapel Hill (18-0, 9-0 Big Eight) set a program record for consecutive victories to start the season.
The Tigers broke the Chapel Hill record of a 17-0 start by the 1981 girls team that went on to win the school’s first 4A state championship under coach Sherry Norris.
“The players are all excited about that,” Norris said Friday. “They all knew about the record, and they wanted it.”
Up 36-15 after two quarters, Chapel Hill held Cedar Ridge (12-7, 6-3) scoreless for the first 11:10 of the second half and opened up a 66-15 lead with a 30-0 run.
“Historically, third quarters have not been very good for us,” Norris said, noting Chapel Hill’s 18-0 advantage in the third. “But we seem to be changing that trend this year.”
Friday's win was Chapel Hill's 31st straight against a conference opponent.
Cedar Ridge (12-7, 6-3) came into the game having won two straight Big Eight games and four of its previous five.
The Red Wolves caused Chapel Hill's offense some trouble early, using a triangle-and-two to disrupt the Tigers' inside-out game. Chapel Hill missed 12 if its first 20 shots from the floor, but then hit 10 of its next 18 to open up a 23-point lead.
Chapel Hill had boys’ and girls’ games Saturday with Oxford Webb, played too late to be included in Sunday’s Chapel Hill News. See Wednesday’s edition for results.