Hartsell scoring for JV girls

Published 9:20 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

After she averaged 6.5 points per game for South Davie last year, who would have predicted that freshman Cayla Hartsell would score at a 12.7 clip through the first seven games for Davie’s JV girls basketball team?

She is responsible for one-third of the team’s offensive output (36.4).

In the Central Piedmont Conference opener, Hartsell, Courtney Neely and the War Eagles rallied for a 32-29 win at Reynolds on Dec. 13. At 5-1 overall, they continued the best start in eight years.

But it was anything but easy. Davie trailed 15-9 at halftime.

“At halftime we talked about more ball movement and rhythm on offense,” coach Debbie Evans said. “We needed to drive to the basket.”

Hartsell and Neely did all the third-quarter scoring as Davie pulled within 21-19. “Cayla picked up the defensive intensity and had a couple steals and layups,” Evans said.

In the fourth, the War Eagles grabbed a two-point lead with three minutes left. They went ahead 30-26 before the Demons connected from downtown to make it 30-29. Davie scored the game’s final points and held on.

Neely had five points in the final period, including a 3-pointer. Hartsell had four. Kayana Caldwell hit two free throws. Maddie Tellup added a bucket.

“Courtney stepped up huge in the second half,” Evans said. “She hit a big 3-point shot.”

Hartsell finished with 16 points. Neely had a season-high nine and Tellup five.

“The girls did a good job finishing strong on both ends,” Evans said.

Hartsell was terrific again at home against Reagan on Dec. 16, but Davie flamed out in the third quarter and lost 48-35.

Hartsell poured in 12 second-quarter points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Neely added four as Davie used a 16-8 spurt to take a 22-21 halftime lead.

“Cayla settled in and found her groove in the second quarter,” Evans said. “The girls did a good job of getting the ball to her, and she had some steals again that she converted into points. Courtney stepped up again, providing us with some scoring.”

Davie could do little right, however, in the second half, getting outscored 27-11.

Hartsell had 19, one from her season high. Neely had eight and Tellup five.

“The girls played hard, but we turned the ball over too much and gave up too many easy baskets in transition,” she said.

Davie 32, Reynolds 29 – Cayla Hartsell 16, Courtney Neely 9, Maddie Tellup 5, Kayana Caldwell 2.

Reagan 48, Davie 35 – Cayla Hartsell 19, Courtney Neely 8, Maddie Tellup 5, Klara Lewis 3.