Pirates preparing for challenging stretch
In less than a week, Porter Ridge’s girls will have a much better idea of where they stand in the race for the Southern Carolina Conference title.
The Pirates (11-3, 2-0 SCC) host Parkwood on Friday and Weddington next Tuesday.
The Warriors (12-3, 2-0 SCC) and Pirates are currently tied for first place in the league while the Rebels (10-2, 1-1 SCC) are just a game back.
Porter Ridge was co-champions of the conference with Anson County last season.
“If you look back at last year we dropped a game to Parkwood and Weddington, so we definitely have some tough games ahead,” said Pirates coach Ina Thompson. “Parkwood’s got great post play and then Weddington has Stephanie Watts, so we’ve got to be ready to play.”
Porter Ridge carries a five-game winning streak into Friday’s game. The Pirates have turned it up of late. They’ve won their last two contests by an average of 60 points with victories over Marvin Ridge (86-24) and Sun Valley (73-17).
Senior guard Jasmine Huntley leads the Pirates in scoring at 14.1 points per game and teammate Jada Huntley, a senior forward, averages 11.1 ppg.
“After we played in the tournament over Christmas break, I really looked at our team and just didn’t think we were getting enough deflections and steals,” said Thompson. “We only graduated one starter from last year, but the same quickness just wasn’t there defensively. We’re really emphasizing defense right now to generate some offense.”
Among the state’s best
Four teams from Union County are ranked in the state in their respective classifications, according to ncpreps.com.
Monroe’s boys (8-3) and Monroe’s girls (10-1) are both ranked seventh in the latest 1A poll.
The only loss for Monroe’s girls this season came to 4A Porter Ridge (47-42) on Jan. 2.
Cuthbertson and Piedmont’s boys are both ranked in the 2A poll.
The Cavaliers (14-1) are first in the state while the Panthers (13-1) enter the poll for the first time in the No. 7 spot.
Cuthbertson and Piedmont have two regular-season meetings scheduled on Jan. 22 (at Piedmont) and Feb. 15 (at Cuthbertson).
Playing for first
The top spot in the SCC is on the line when Sun Valley’s boys travel to Marvin Ridge on Friday.
Both teams are tied atop the league standings at 2-0. The Spartans (9-6) have conference wins over Anson (65-43) and Porter Ridge (63-49) while the Mavericks (8-6) have beaten Porter Ridge (80-63) and Weddington (53-51).
Senior forward Kendall Ratliff leads Sun Valley in scoring at 14.9 points per game. The Mavericks are led by senior wing Taylor Neal, who’s averaging a team-high 16.4 ppg.
Area conference standings
Southern Carolina Conference
Rocky River Conference
Piedmont at Union Academy
Monroe at Central Academy
Parkwood at Porter Ridge
Sun Valley at Marvin Ridge
Anson at Weddington
West Stanly at Cuthbertson