The varsity girls basketball team welcomed the Mount Notre Dame Cougars to CHS last night for a huge, non-conference showdown. The Cougars entered as the Division I defending state champions, the #1 ranked team in the state and the 9th ranked team in the nation according to USA Today so the girls knew they would have to bring their A game and did just that.
In the opening quarter, the girls came out on fire as sophomore Cotie McMahon was on a mission and freshman Kendal George buried two deep three pointers. After eight minutes of play, the Elks led the Cougars, 21-12. In the second quarter, the Elks extended their lead to double digits, but, as all great teams do, the Cougars found their footing and began to chip away at the Elks lead. As the two teams headed to the locker room at halftime, the Elks held a 33-29 lead. In the second half, the Elks continued to try to keep the Cougars at bay, but they finally caught them at 49 and then hit a three pointer in the final seconds to take a 52-49 lead into the final eight minutes. They kept the pressure on by scoring the first four points of the fourth quarter to extend their lead to seven and the Elks could get no closer than five the rest of the way. The Cougars were able to bury some key free throws down the stretch and held on to defeat the Elks, 71-61, in front of a raucous crowd.
To say Cotie McMahon had a great game is an injustice at the least. She finished with a game high 39 to try to keep the Elks in the game. She was joined in double figures by junior Amy Velasco, who had 10, played outstanding defense all night and distributed the ball all over the floor from the point guard position.
In the opening game of the night, the freshman team remained unbeaten on the year with a 46-25 win. That was followed by the JV game which saw the Elks suffer their first loss of the season, 55-43.
Now 9-5 on the year, the girls return to GWOC action tomorrow night at home when they welcome Northmont for a tripleheader. The freshman play at 4:30, followed by the JV at 6:00 and the varsity at 7:30.