Leach scores 40 as Cowboys roll
It was another one of those nights for Terrell Leach and the Southwest Guilford boys.
Leach, a senior guard, scored 40 points and helped key the Cowboys in the second half as they pulled away for a 93-70 win Friday against rival Ragsdale in front of a pack house in Ragsdale’s new gymnasium.
“It felt great,” said Leach, who scored 54 points earlier this season. “We knew it was going to be a big rivalry game. We just wanted to get a big win against our rival. ... I don’t know. We called timeout and my team just wanted to get me the ball. We needed a little boost and I was just lucky to knock down shots tonight.”
After leading by eight at halftime, the Cowboys (18-0, 7-0 Piedmont Triad 4A) watched their lead dwindle to one with 3:14 left in the third. They answered with an 11-3 run to close the quarter, sparked by nine straight points by Leach, and then opened the fourth on a 12-4 run to lead by 17 with 5:45 left. They stretched their lead past 20 in the final two minutes.
“Terrell took over, and a lot of those guys stepped up,” Southwest coach Guy Shavers said. “Dequan Bethea came in and played strong and didn’t back down. Once we could find our shooters, I thought that helped a lot. It’s tough, though, when you’ve got a kid who’s shooting unconscious. I’m glad he’s on my team.”
Leach also finished with five assists, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks, while D.J. Chamblee added 19 and Ben Ferguson had 10. Daniel Kanakanui scored 20 while Jarratt Holland had 16 and Joseph Bryant had 13 to lead the Tigers (9-11, 3-5 PTC), who trailed by nine after the first quarter and 45-37 at halftime before rallying within four early in the third.
“I didn’t think we were playing terrible defense on (Leach),” Ragsdale coach Craig Shoemaker said with a laugh. “But he just rises so well. ... But he just had a good night, shot the ball well. He had to shoot over 50 percent from the floor. We were switching and stepping up. But I think the biggest benefit to his jumper is that he rises so high. ...
“I know we got beat by 20 but I thought we played pretty well. We handled a couple of their runs and got back in it. I think the biggest concern was from foul line to foul line. We’ve got to be able to take care of the ball better from foul line to foul line. I feel like if you can get it to the foul line, then you can score on them. But if you don’t it there, it’ll be a long night.”
The Tigers play again Monday at home against Parkland while Southwest plays Tuesday at Glenn.