Cowboys rally past Ragsdale
It was Briana Burgins, Southwest Guilford's 1,000-point scorer, who astutely observed the exceptional atmosphere for a Tuesday night at Ragsdale High School. Her comments followed the senior's latest gem on the hardwood, a 20-point performance against a bitter rival.
By the time she had settled into her seat, Southwest's boys had already fallen into a 17-8 hole to start the game. Fortunately for the Cowboys, Burgins was not the school's only star who rose to the occasion of delivering a win in a hostile environment.
Trailing by 12 points emerging for the fourth quarter, Southwest's boys, led by K.J. Langley, came all the way back to earn a 70-62 victory over the home team.
"We could not find any form of offense in the first half," Cowboys coach Guy Shavers said. "Finally, we were able to spread them out a little bit and get a couple of baskets. Once the momentum switches, it's tough to stop."
Langley scored 24 points to lead Southwest (15-5, 4-2 Piedmont Triad 4A). He made a pair of crucial steals in the fourth quarter that lead to easy baskets for his teammates and ultimately the collapse of Ragsdale.
"Our fastbreak accounted for most our points," Langley said. "It was very satisfying to beat our rivals. It was really big."
Long-range shooting was the difference in the third quarter, as the Tigers (12-7, 2-4) extended a one-point halftime lead to 12. Four treys in the span of four minutes by their premier scoring threat gave them a temporary cushion. The Cowboys, meanwhile, struggled to make anything.
Toward the end of what Shavers called one of the finest quarters he's seen from an opposing player this season, James Stepp picked up a couple fouls and lost his touch from outside just as his counterpart Langley began to heat up.
Stepp finished with a game-high 27 points in a losing effort.
"I thought our team came out with the energy we needed," Ragsdale coach Craig Shoemaker said. "We had talked about winning the first quarter. We've had games where we lost the first quarter, and it kind of sets the tone for the rest of the game.
"They were missing shots, we were getting fastbreak opportunities and we were doing what we needed to do. But then all of a sudden, they started getting offensive rebounds and they started hitting shots. We needed to close that one out."