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Behind 20 points from Danasia Witherspoon, the Hickory Lady Red Tornadoes locked up the outright girls Northwestern Conference basketball title in 2012 with a win against St. Stephens on Tuesday.
"We're excited about that," said Hickory coach Barbara Helms on her team clinching the conference. "We talked about that before the game. The main thing is you want to have good seeding going in to the playoffs. This certainly does it for us. Everything is one step closer to the next. We like to take it game-by-game at this point, but you have to appreciate what you've earned. We're excited about this. We look forward to finishing strong."
Hickory (22-1, 11-0) maintained a balanced attack offensively, receiving 12 points from Aja Hoyle and 10 points apiece from Yazmin Hannah and Alex Wright.
"In the second half, we made a lot of substitutions," Helms said. "I thought a lot of different people picked up the tempo for us. It was very dispersed basketball and a lot of different people contributed. There was a lot of inside and outside scoring. Pressure defense worked well. I was pleased with us defensively."
Darian Fisher led St. Stephens (3-19, 0-11) with eight points.
Hickory 73, St. Stephens 58
The Red Tornadoes kept pace with Alexander Central atop the Northwestern Conference standings with a road win against the Indians.
Zach Jarrett scored a game-high 21 points for Hickory (20-3, 10-1) and C.J. Wardrick chipped in 12 points.
St. Stephens (13-10, 5-6) got into early foul trouble with seniors Zach Bumgarner and Jordan James picking up three fouls each. James earned three fouls in the first half, while Bumgarner earned his third early in the first half.
Drew Starkey paced the Indians with 18 points and Dillion Spencer added 11 points.
Bandys 63, East Burke 45
Madi and Jesse Story combined for 39 points to lift the Lady Trojans to their 20th win of the season against the Lady Cavaliers on Tuesday in Catawba.
Madi Story netted a game-high 25 points and Jesse Story pitched in 14 points in the victory for Bandys (21-1, 12-1). Brittany Moss added 11 points, seven rebounds and six steals.
Bailey Gragg paced East Burke (15-8, 8-5) with 21 points. Lauren Arney added 11 points for the Lady Cavaliers.
Newton-Conover 63, South Iredell 31
The Lady Red Devils remain tied atop the CVAC standings with a win against the Lady Vikings in Statesville.
Shynese Whitener scored 22 points for the Lady Red Devils (20-3, 12-1). Fellow senior Kadesha Gibbs recorded a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds.
Aaliyah Jackson guided South Iredell (13-9, 7-6) with 15 points.
Other girls scores
Maiden 58, Bunker Hill 36
Bunker Hill 52, Maiden 33
Colton Chapman scored 17 points to lift the Bears to the Catawba Valley 2A road win in Maiden on Tuesday.
Jordan McGinnis and Nathan Sherrill added seven points in the victory for Bunker Hill (5-17, 5-8), who broke a tie for fifth place in the conference with the Blue Devils.
Jalen Gibbs scored 13 points for Maiden (9-12, 5-8), while Jason Gantt added 10 points.
Other boys scores
Newton-Conover 52, South Iredell 31
East Burke 83, Bandys 49