Central girls pound Ledford

Central Davidson's Paige Chavis wins control of an offensive rebound in the middle of three Ledford players including Emmalee Thomas (left) and MacKenzie Cranford (right) and teammate Victoria Hedrick during their game Wednesday at Central. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

Kevin Hudson, clutching a basketball with two hands, bounced it on the floor dramatically and said “yeah!”

There was plenty for the Central Davidson girls coach to be happy about as Paige Chavis scored 21 points and the Spartans played lockdown defense in a 54-37 pasting of Ledford on Wednesday night.

“Great defense,” Hudson said. “Tonight, we played within the framework of what we wanted to do. Defensively, I couldn’t ask for any better effort. We communicated well, we boxed out and we challenged every shot they took. It was a great win.”

McKenzie Burkhart scored 10 points and Jordan Chavis added nine for Central, which improved to 3-1.

The Spartans went ahead for good late in the first quarter and never trailed again. It was a direct reversal of Ledford’s 61-44 win in Wallburg last week.

“They took us to the woodshed,” said Ledford coach John Ralls. “Just wore us out. We couldn’t get anything going.”

Brie Grier and Leigh Ann Midkiff led the Panthers (3-2) with 11 points each.

Ledford trailed 9-8 when the Spartans embarked on a 10-0 run that carried into the second quarter. Burkhart’s short jumper at the buzzer to end the first quarter seemed to fuel the Spartans as their lead grew to double digits.

Grier’s 3-pointer briefly shaved the margin to eight but Central responded with a 10-2 run capped by Paige Chavis’ driving layup to make it 29-13. Through it all, Central’s defenders seemed glued to their opponents.

“They’re a good ball club,” Hudson said. “Did they bring their best tonight? No, probably not. But we brought ours.”

Ledford trailed 33-17 at halftime and never got closer than 10 the rest of the way. The last time that happened was late in the third quarter. But Jordan Chavis responded with a floater and then scored on a backdoor layup off a perfect pass from her older sister to make it 41-27 with just over a minute left in the third quarter.