England eclipses 100 wins; Hawks top Cavs in OT

England eclipses 100 wins; Hawks top Cavs in OT

HICKORY, N.C. — For the second-straight season, Catawba Valley women's basketball head coach Tisha England reached another career milestone on Thursday.

England's Red Hawks fended off the Montreat JV team to earn a 75-70 victory in overtime at the Tarlton Complex — recording the sixth-year head coach's 100th career coaching win.

The victory comes one season after England passed mentor Tommy Edwards for the most coaching wins in CVCC women's basketball program history.

"It means a lot," England said of her 100th victory. "To be honest, I don't think about wins and losses in that sense as far as trying to reach that peak. My desire is that these young ladies take these life skills and life lessons with them wherever they go and to be productive citizens through the game of basketball. I want to impact their lives in a positive way so when they take these teachings to wherever they go in life that they'll be able to hold on to them and be able to overcome adversity. That is my desire. I love the game of basketball. The Lord has blessed me to use this as a tool for them to be productive citizens and to get to know them and push them to be the best that they can be."

Montreat led CVCC 33-29 at halftime behind nine first-half points from Kendal Marlowe, but Catawba Valley (2-1) answered back, outscoring the Cavs 23-10 in the third quarter, including seven points from sophomore forward Sherry Johnson.

"We started out great and then we had our rocky spots, but they fought back," England said of her players. "They had heart at the end. We made some turnovers, and at the end, they just fought back hard. It was all or nothing tonight to gain our pride back. The girls did a wonderful job."

The Cavaliers were able to return the favor in quarter four, out-gaining CVCC 19-9 during the stanza to force overtime.

During the extra session, it was six more points from Johnson that would help the Red Hawks gain the advantage en route to England's history-making win.

Johnson recorded a double-double with a team-high 28 points and 14 rebounds in the contest, while teammates Ivy Eller and Zharia Brown also reached double figures in scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

England is proud of her team for fighting back from a difficult loss on Tuesday against Clinton to come through with a momentum-building win on Thursday.

"It makes me feel that they are learning how to overcoming adversity, and that's what I want," she said. "I want us to overcome adversity. At the end, it took everything that we had. It was all about heart tonight."

England will try to add win No. 101 to her impressive coaching resume on Sunday when the CVCC women's basketball team hosts Belmont Abbey for a 6 p.m. non-conference contest at the Tarlton Complex. Admission is free.