JAMESTOWN — Southwest Guilford certainly didn’t seem hampered by playing rivalry games in consecutive days. In fact, it seemed to be an improvement.
The Cowboys stayed slightly ahead much of the game, pulled away during a strong third quarter and fended off a late rally to beat rival Ragsdale 69-63 in nonconference boys basketball Thursday at Ragsdale.
In the girls game, Southwest scored the final eight points of the first half, led by double digits almost all of the second half and cruised to a 75-49 win — snapping a six-game losing streak against the Tigers.
“Our message before we hit the road over here was gratitude,” Cowboys coach Greg Vlazny said. “We’ve already experienced that it can be lost in an instant. So, we’ve got to be grateful we’re out here and let’s enjoy the moment. Yes, we want to compete; yes, we want to win — obviously.
“But if you’re not having fun doing it, then what’s the point? So, I really think they bought in to the defensive energy. Our man-to-man defense was much better than last night. And then clearly we shot the ball a little better, except from the free-throw line. Overall, we performed much better.
“Clearly, there’s more to work on, but I’m pleased with the step we took.”
DeAnthony Butchee had 28 points, 10 rebounds and four steals to lead Southwest (2-0), which beat High Point Central 39-38 Wednesday on a last-second shot. Claude Cormack added 20 points and eight rebounds.
The Cowboys led by as many as six during a tight, back-and-forth first half before taking a 33-30 lead into halftime. Ragsdale took a one-point lead two minutes into the third quarter before Southwest answered with a 15-4 run — keyed by turnovers or misses on nine of 11 possessions by Ragsdale.
The Cowboys led 50-40 with 1:36 left in the quarter, held a 10-point lead heading to the fourth and extended their advantage to 15 two minutes into the final quarter. Their lead hovered around 10 into the last minute before the Tigers rallied hard to stay within reach.
“It’s a big step,” Cormack said. “We’re just going to keep practicing. We’re going to practice every day, work hard in there and get a lot better.”
Jah Saigo scored 17 points while Aaron Fant added 11 points for Ragsdale (1-1), which edged West Forsyth 58-56 in its opener Tuesday. The Tigers made enough shots and Southwest missed enough free throws in the final minutes to pull within reach, but it wasn’t quite enough to have a shot at the end.
“The biggest difference for us was the lack of energy versus finding some energy in the last four minutes,” Ragsdale coach James Atkinson said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well — that really hurt us. Not shooting the ball and not rebounding the ball well.
“It’s really hard to say (how to rate the start of the season) because you don’t know day-to-day. But I’ll take 1-1 over 0-2. We’re young and some are learning to play the game. As long as we’re fighting hard and competing, that’s the big thing this season.”
Kendall Shaw scored 33 points to lead Southwest (2-0), which hadn’t beaten Ragsdale since winning all three games in 2016-17 when they were both in the Piedmont Triad 4A Conference. Ally Guglielmo added 14 points as it followed up Wednesday’s win over Central with another sizable rivalry win.
“We had good energy,” Cowgirls coach Nick Scarborough said. “I thought we could’ve done a bit better job executing. We had a few turnovers and played a little sloppy early on. But I think once we settled down and played with more energy, then things got better.”
Southwest, forcing a string of turnovers and misses, scored layups on four consecutive possessions — including a pair in transition — to lead 32-24 into halftime. It tacked on the opening score of the second half to lead by 10 and quickly took control.
The Cowgirls used another 8-0 spurt to lead by 15 midway through the third and, again forcing turnovers in bunches and running the floor, went on a 14-1 run to lead by 25 with 19 seconds left in the quarter. Their lead peaked at 26 twice inside the final three minutes of the game.
Mya Patrick scored 17 points while Christian Atwater added 10 points for the Tigers (1-1), who are a little younger than expected after last year once a couple notable players transferred. They feature seven freshmen and sophomores on their 14-player roster.
They played well in beating West Forsyth to open their season, which was a positive given their relative youth and inexperience, coach Ben Bradford said. But Thursday’s game — particularly in handling the ball — showed there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
“It looked like a different team from Tuesday,” Bradford said. “We just could not stop turning the ball over. And turnovers were not a problem at all against West Forsyth. We don’t do anything great yet, since we haven’t had much practice time. But (Southwest) played great — their kids played hungry.”
Playing its third straight rivalry game, Southwest is scheduled to play Tuesday at home against High Point Central. Ragsdale will also play Tuesday at Thomasville. Southwest and Ragsdale will play again Friday, Jan. 15, at Southwest.
SW GUILFORD BOYS 69, RAGSDALE 63
SWG 17 16 20 16 — 69
RHS 14 16 13 20 — 63
DeAnthony Butchee 28, Claude Cormack 20, Scarborough 6, Huggins 5, Harrison 4, Smith 4, Giant 2
Jah Saigo 17, Aaron Fant 11, Cameron Cofield 10, Park 8, Jackson 8, Siler 7, Jones 2
SW GUILFORD GIRLS 75, RAGSDALE 49
SWG 15 17 26 17 — 75
RHS 14 10 11 14 — 49
Kendall Shaw 33, Ally Guglielmo 14, McCullough 8, Slade 5, Foust 5, Hairston 4, Taylor 4, McFadden 2
Mya Patrick 17, Christian Atwater 10, Boddie 6, Bradford 5, Maros 4, Patel 3, Simmons 2, Tarver 2
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