KINSTON, N.C. — The second-seeded Catawba Valley Community College women's basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the Region X tournament on Thursday with an 88-53 victory against Fayetteville Tech.
"It was a good win. It was a sloppy win, but a win is a win," said Catawba Valley women's basketball coach Tisha England. "Like I told the girls, I'm proud of them. We survived today, and we've got to get back and ready for tomorrow. At the end of the day, it's all or nothing. We just went out there and put our heart soul into it. We came out victorious."
Shaniya Lester scored a team-high 28 points for Catawba Valley (26-5), and freshman post Zharia Brown recorded 18 points and 16 rebounds — her seventh career double double.
The Red Hawks also received a career-high 13-assist performance from sophomore guard Nikkyana McCaskill.
"I just told Nikki that she played an incredible game," England said. "She was a great team player. She was unselfish. There were a lot of times when she could have taken a shot, but she gave it up for an easier or better basket. At the end of the day, she wants to win."
The lone blemish in Thursday's win for the Red Hawks was the loss of sophomore guard Tory Agrusa, who injured her right ankle on a jump shot with three minutes, 42 seconds left in the first quarter.
"We're praying for her to get some rest tonight, and we'll go from there," England said of Agrusa's injury. "Tory is vital to our team — hands down. Throughout the year, we've been talking about injuries and taking care of ourselves. We learn how to overcome it."
The Red Hawks advance to the Region X semifinals where they face third-seeded Louisburg at 4 p.m. Friday at Lenoir Community College. The Hurricanes (22-4) defeated sixth-seeded Bryant & Stratton (Va.) 60-47 in their first-round match-up on Thursday.
CVCC swept the season series with Louisburg, winning 95-69 in Hickory on Jan. 25 and earning an 82-78 win on Feb. 15 in Louisburg.
2018 Region X tournament schedule
Monday, March 5 (play-in round)
No. 5 Brunswick 68, No. 12 Lenoir 53
No. 10 Fayetteville Tech 82, No. 7 Clinton 75
No. 6 Bryant & Stratton 57, No. 11 Johnston 42
No. 8 Patrick Henry 97, No. 9 Wake Tech 79
Quarterfinals (Thursday, March 8)
No. 5 Brunswick 84, No. 4 Guilford Tech 83
No. 1 Cape Fear 88, No. 8 Patrick Henry 50
No. 2 Catawba Valley 88, No. 10 Fayetteville Tech 53
No. 3 Louisburg 60, No. 6 Bryant & Stratton 47
Semifinals (Friday, March 9)
No. 1 Cape Fear vs. No. 5 Brunswick, 2 p.m.
No. 2 Catawba Valley vs. No. 3 Louisburg, 4 p.m.
Championship (Saturday, March 10)
Cape Fear/Brunswick winner vs. Catawba Valley/Louisburg winner, 2 p.m.