MINT HILL, NC – The Independence Lady Patriots defeated the Lady Cougars in an outstanding basketball game on Tuesday night at the “Big I” inside the “Pit.” The is the second time this season Indy beat Catholic this season. The Pats won 62-61 on a final second 3-pointer on the Cougars home court last month. This time it took another comeback after being down by as much as 10 points in the third period to overtake the Cougars in the final period.
This hard fought victory was certainly a team effort by the Lady Patriots against a solid and well coached Cougar team. However, for Indy it was their sophomore standout Kamryn Kitchen who scored 19 points, with 3 steals and 1 block led the charge and comeback for the home team. She was double teamed all game and was challenged and forced to shoot over Blanca Thomas the 6’5″ D1 recruit. Independence defensive effort was fabulous as they held Thomas to 10 points, but she did have 8 blocks and double digit rebounds. It was the shooting and rebounding of 6’0″ PF Gracynn Gough who scored 16 points for the Cougars who can be difficult to handle.
Indy Coach Lauren Galvani-Lewis used her big team in this contest giving Lola-Cabaniss-Ali, and Chloe Moss some needed bench assistance from senior Lily Gorum 6’0″ to offset Thomas size and strength advantage inside the paint.
In the first period the teams battled with Catholic taking a one point lead 14-13 in a fast paced period of action. Kitchen drilled two of three 3-pointers for 6 points. Moss hit another 3-pointer from the right side baseline keeping the Patriots at an even pace with the Cougars exchanging baskets. Meanwhile, Gough scored 6 points with four coming from under the basket, and Thomas scored 4 points in the period for the Cougars.
In the second frame, the game continued at a neck breaking pace as the teams continued to run and push the ball up and down the court. Aniyah Scales landed a 3-pointer along with Gough, who committed her second foul, Oliva Favor scored a bucket, and Scales hit a jump shot. While Kitchen swished her third 3-pointer, Chloe Moss made a nice power move under the basket for two, and Hannah Moss added a basket along with Kitchen. However, the needle did not move with both teams scoring 10 points in a well played period. The Cougars entered the intermission with a narrow 24-23 edge.
In the third period, Indy shooting went cold, they could not buy a basket as Catholic had an 11-0 run leading 35-24. However, with just under 4 minutes remaining, Cabaniss-Ali scored a bucket inside the paint, then Jai’lun Brimmer nailed a 3-pointer off a steal by Kitchen. Cougars Thomas became more aggressive and scored 6 points in the period, Gough added 5 more points in a consistent and determined effort while picking up her third foul. Kitchen countered, by drilling her fourth 3-pointer of the contest to reduce the Cougar lead 36-31 after three periods of highly contested competition.
In the final period, the momentum swing changed in the Patriots favor. They outscored the Cougars 13-4 and shutdown Catholic’s top scorers who suddenly became cold shooting from the floor. They had good opportunities to score inside the paint with second rebounding shot chances, but the Cougars could not put the ball in the hoop. Thomas could not buy a basket, Gough scored 2 points, while picking up her fourth foul. Meanwhile, Kitchen nailed her fifth 3-pointer, Jessica Worthey scored 3 points, and the Cougars were forced to foul, putting the Patriots on the foul line. The Pats landed 7 of 12 foul shots which was enough to secure the victory. In particular, it was Chloe Moss with the score 43-40, she swished the first free throw on a 1-1 situation to ice the contest with 2.1 seconds remaining. On the second shot which bounced off the rim, Indy grabbed the rebound ending the game as the buzzer sounded.
Kitchen led all scorers with 19 points, Brimmer 8, Chloe Moss 6, Hannah Moss 5 for Indy, while Gough had 16, Thomas 10, Scales 7, Olivia Fava 5 to lead the Cougars. Independence is now 17-2 overall, 7-0 in 4A Conference 59, and Charlotte Catholic is 14-5 overall, and 6-2 in 4A Conference 59.