Cedar Ridge Women’s Basketball

Rocky Mount ends Orange women’s basketball season; Cedar Ridge’s Ware scores 18 points in final game vs. Scotland

While the Orange and Cedar Ridge women’s basketball teams were several counties apart in the opening round of the 3A State Playoffs on Tuesday night, they both had their chances to win.

And both fell short in frustrating fashion.

Cedar Ridge, making the 3A State Playoffs for the first time since 2018, fell to Scotland County 56-42 in Laurinburg. The Red Wolves end the year 13-13, its best season since the 2017-2018 campaign when they were coached by Felton Page.

The Red Wolves led by four at halftime. Amiyah Ware, in her final game at Cedar Ridge, scored 18 points. Junior point guard Sarah Utley finished with 16 points and ten rebounds.

Fighting Scots junior Morgan Thompson finished with 25 points as Scotland County, the 9th-seed out of the Sandhills Conference, advanced to face Fike in the round of 32 in Wilson on Friday night.

Cedar Ridge led 37-33 at the end of the third quarter following a running-one hander from Utley. But Scotland opened up the 4th quarter with a 14-2 run to take control of the game. The Red Wolves shot just 24%.

The loss ended the careers of Ware, Cameron Copeland, Cierra Copeland, Addie Reid and Jordyan Delph. Reid has been a three-sport athlete at Cedar Ridge and won the 2021 3A State Championship in volleyball. Ware’s legacy will be remembered in the record books as she set the Orange County record for most points scored in a game when she registered 54 against Western Alamance last year. She is the only player in the history of Orange County to score 50 points twice in a season. She scored 51 against Durham School of the Arts just two weeks after the game against the Warriors.

Meanwhile in Rocky Mount, Orange struggled in the second half and fell 43-26. The Gyphons never trailed and advanced to the second round to face Big East Conference rival Franklinton on Friday night.

Rocky Mount’s Keysha Mizzell led all scorers with 15 points.  She opened the game by scoring the opening five points, including a three-pointer. Orange’s Evelyn George countered with a 3-pointer, but the Lady Panthers would never get that close again. The Gryphons went on a 9-2 run, which Kaitlin White capped off with a 3-pointer to increase the lead to 14-5.

Orange closed the first half with a 7-0 run. Shannon Murphy started with a 3-pointer off a feed from George. In the final minute of the second quarter, George drained two free throws, then scored off a lay-in while getting fouled by Candrice Davis. Orange trailed 22-18 at the half.

Rocky Mount (19-6) shut out the Lady Panthers in the third quarter 19-0 using a full-court press that resulted in ten Orange turnovers. Not only was Orange unable to score. They barely got off any shots. Orange was only 0-for-3 in the third quarter and just 3-of-8 from the field in the entire second half. In all, the Lady Panthers committed 12 turnovers in the second half.

Rocky Mount’s Candrice Davis, who came out for White after she picked up her third foul, sparked the Gryphons with six points and three steals in the second half. In all, Rocky Mount had 17 steals compare to just eight for Orange.

26 points is a season-low for Orange.

George and Murphy led the Lady Panthers with seven points. Natalie Roberson had six points as Orange ended the year 13-13 under first-year head coach Lamont Jones. After Orange defeated Western Alamance and Walter Williams to open 2024, they were tied for first place in the Central Conference. But Cedar Ridge swept the season series from the Lady Panthers for the first time since the 2013-2014 season and was unable to regain the momentum to catch up with Western Alamance in the race for the conference championship.

It was the final game for Orange senior Lily Crayton.

Ware scores 17 as Cedar Ridge women win in Central Conference Tournament; George leads Orange women over Williams

For all the the things that Amiyah Ware has accomplished for the Cedar Ridge women’s basketball team the past two years, the only thing missing was winning a tournament game.

Until Monday night.

In her final game inside Red Wolves Gymnasium, Ware scored 17 points as Cedar Ridge committed only four turnovers to defeat Southern Alamance 35-28 in the opening round of the Central Conference Tournament. The Red Wolves advance to face Eastern Alamance at Person High School in the semifinals on Wednesday night at 6PM.

It is the first postseason tournament win for the Red Wolves women’s basketball team since February 21, 2017, when they defeated Cleveland in the opening round of the 3A State Playoffs in Clayton.

Cedar Ridge trailed 16-15 at halftime, but the Red Wolves held the Patriots to three points in the third quarter. The sequence that changed the game came when Red Wolf freshman center Kate Finnegan blocked a shot off a drive from Madison Brouillard, which was captured by Hailey McCloud. In a rare transition attempt against the Patriots, Ware threw a diagonal pass to Jamee Watson, who scored off a lay-in as she was hacked on the arm by Morgan Edmunds to even the game at 19-19.

Ware grabbed a rebound following a Patriots miss and was fouled by Sarah Kathryn Maness, which led to two Red Wolf free throws to put Cedar Ridge ahead 21-19 with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Cedar Ridge point guard Sarah Utley opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer off a drop off from Ware. Following a three-pointer from Brouillard, Watson grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Ware for a lay-in. Ware scored six points in the fourth quarter.

Finnegan and Hailey McCloud kept the Patriots from scoring in the paint. Southern Alamance’s Sunny Yarnell, the team’s leading scorer, was limited to just two points with no field goals.

Finnegan finished with seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

It was the final game at home for Ware, Cameron Copeland, Cierra Copeland and Jordyan Delph.

Orange 62, Walter Williams 39: Just in time for the postseason, the Orange women’s team played its best half of the season against Walter Williams.

After getting blown out by 59-39 by the Bulldogs in Burlington on January 31, the Lady Panthers led wire-to-wire in an 62-39 victory in Hillsborough on Monday night. The Panthers advance to the Central Conference Tournament semifinals, where they will face top-seeded Western Alamance at Person High School on Tuesday night (tonight) at 6 PM.

Junior Evelyn George finished with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Shannon Murphy added ten points with eight rebounds.

In the first half, Orange (13-11) shot a torrid 15-of-18 of the field. Of the Lady Panthers 15 field goals in the first half, 13 were assisted.

Williams (15-10) Reagan Averett paced the Bulldogs with 13 points, but Williams shot just 26% from the field. Orange out rebounded the Bulldogs 43-34, with 17 offensive rebounds. Orange built its lead to as big as 27 points.

Orange point guard Maura McMurtry finished with nine assists.

It seemed destined to be a long night for Williams during pregame warmups when they were assessed a technical foul for leaving players out of their scorebook. Instead of a jump ball, the game started with George making two technical free throws and it didn’t get any better for the Bulldogs from there.

Murphy drained a short jumper off a pass from Marshea Byrd, who finished with ten points, four rebounds and three assists. George scored consecutive field goals, each one assisted by Byrd, and then Byrd scored off a pass from McMurtry to build a 10-3 lead, leading to a Williams timeout.

After Adkins cored a three-pointer with 3:21 remaining in the first quarter, Orange led 16-5. The lead stayed at double-digits for the remainder of the game after George added another shot from downtown.


Central Conference men’s, women’s basketball tournaments open tonight

For the first time since the formation of the Central Conference in 2022, there will be a neutral site for the league tournament’s semifinals and championship games.

Well, at least in theory.

The conference semifinals will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday night at Person High School, The men’s and women’s championship games will also be in Roxboro on Friday night, starting with the women’s game at 6PM.

The last two years, the tournament championship games were held at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, which won the men’s and women’s tournament titles each of the first two years of the league. The event is being held in Roxboro based on proximity with Southern Alamance being added to the Central Conference this year after Northwood moved back down to 2A.

In the men’s tournament, Orange is the regular season champion and will receive a bye into the semifinals. The Panthers will face either Walter Williams or Person in the semifinals on Tuesday night at 7:30 in Roxboro. The Rockets and the Bulldogs will play in Burlington tonight.

In the bottom half of the bracket, second-seeded Eastern Alamance hosts Cedar Ridge at Tal Jobe Gymnasium in Mebane. The third-seed, Southern Alamance, hosts Western Alamance in Graham. The winners will meet on Wednesday night at 7:30 in Roxboro.

Two of the three first-round meetings will be rematches from Friday night, the final night of the regular season. Williams upset Person 63-62 in Burlington, which put the Bulldogs in the top half of the league. In Graham, Western Alamance upset Southern Alamance 46-42 in Graham. The Warriors beat the Patriots on its senior night.

In the women’s bracket, Western Alamance has earned a bye after winning the regular season title. They will await the winner of Orange vs. Walter Williams, who will meet in Hillsborough tonight. Western Alamance will play on Tuesday night at 6PM in Roxboro against either Orange or Williams.

Eastern Alamance will host Person at Tal Jobs Gymnasium in Mebane. Also tonight at 6:30, 3rd-seeded Cedar Ridge will host Southern Alamance. The winners of EA/Person & Cedar Ridge/SAHS will meet on Wednesday night at Person at 6PM.

Cedar Ridge’s women’s game will almost certainly be the final home game for senior Amiyah Ware, Cameron Copeland, Cierra Copeland, Addie Reid and Jordyan Delph. The Red Wolves defeated Walter Williams 53-38 last Tuesday on Senior Night to sew up a spot in the top half of the conference.

Cedar Ridge will tip off at 6:30 tonight at Red Wolves Gymnasium.

Orange split the season-series with Williams, beating the Bulldogs in Hillsborough. They lost to Williams in Burlington.

Cedar Ridge also split the season series with Southern Alamance. The Red Wolves won against the Patriots in Hillsborough.

Fitting finale; Ware scores 24, Utley adds 11 as Cedar Ridge women win on Senior Night; Williams downs Red Wolf men

It took a lot of waiting, plenty of patience and practices. Everything that the Cedar Ridge women’s basketball team has strived for the past four years paid off on its Senior Night.

After winning just seven games over the previous four years, the Cedar Ridge has secured a winning season.

And they will host a conference tournament game next week.

It all was secured on Tuesday night when the Red Wolves defeated Walter Williams 53-38 at Red Wolves Gymnasium to conclude the regular season. The Red Wolves will go into the Central Conference Tournament with a 12-11 mark and will finish in 3rd place in the Central Conference.

In her final regular season game at Red Wolves Gymnasium, senior Amiyah Ware finished with 24 points, five rebounds and seven steals. Junior Sarah Utley added eleven points and four rebounds as the Red Wolves gained a split in the season series against the Bulldogs.

“Amiyah is just a baller,” said Cedar Ridge women’s coach Megan Skouby. “She works hard out there. She draws all the attention. Every team we’ve played, they’ve put up a box-and-one against her. She’s still dropping 20 points a night, which is a pretty big feat if you ask me.”

The inclusion of Utley, a junior who transferred from Burlington Christian Academy over the summer, has led Ware to move to her natural off guard position.

Cedar Ridge actually never trailed against the Bulldogs after they jumped out to a 9-1 lead with Ware scoring all there field goals in the opening quarter. Williams didn’t get its first field goal until Jordan Taylor scored off a pass from Ryleigh Surles with 7:01 remaining in the second quarter, but Cedar Ridge still led 14-5.

“I think this year we’re played much more as a team,” Skouby said. “Everyone has concentrated so much this year on Amiyah, some other people have really stepped up. They’ve all contributed to that.”

Williams opened the second half with four straight 3-point baskets, including one from Surles that tied the game at 26-26. After Ware sank an outside jumper off a pass from Cierra Copeland to put the Red Wolves back in front, Williams’ Scout Winter drained an attempt from downtown to even it back up at 29-29.

Cedar Ridge ended the quarter on a 10-3 run to keep the lead for good. After Utley hit a free throw, Ware scored off a strip and steal. Freshman Kate Finnegan scored off a shot from point-blank range to end the quarter with Cedar Ridge leading 39-32.

Junior Jamee Watson opened the fourth quarter by hitting two three-pointers to open up a 45-36 lead for the.Red Wolves.

Seniors Addie Reid, Cierra Copeland, Cameron Copeland and Jordyan Delph were also honored on Senior Night. Reid, who is going to play volleyball at North Carolina Central, had her former volleyball coach, Fiona Cunningham in attendance.

It was a gratifying win for the Copeland sisters, who played on the varsity basketball team during the pandemic in 2021 when the Red Wolves often had just five players on the team.

“I’m really excited for them,” Skouby said. “They’ve worked hard and come a long way. They’re always there and always pushing their teammates.”

Men’s Basketball: Walter Williams 49, Cedar Ridge 36: 

Despite losing its top two post players early in the fourth quarter, Walter Williams held Cedar Ridge 17-9 in the fourth quarter to beat the Red Wolves on senior night.

The Red Wolves were without Luke Orstad and senior Hayden Kirk, regular rotation players who were both injured.

It was the final home game for Landon Dalehite, Harrison Perel, Tyler Fields, Brian Valentine and Kirk.

Perel led Cedar Ridge with 16 points and eleven rebounds, but the Red Wolves shot just 28% from the field. Williams out rebounded the Red Wolves 49-32. The Bulldogs had 21 offensive rebounds.

Brian Williams paced the Bulldogs with 17 points. Milton Turner had seven points and 12 rebounds for Williams before he fouled out with 6:11 remaining. At that point, Williams led 37-30, but Brian Williams scored six points down the stretch while the Red Wolves couldn’t get traction on offense.

Cedar Ridge will play at Eastern Alamance in the opening round of the Central Conference Tournament in Mebane on Monday night.

Cedar Ridge seniors Ware, Copeland, Reid, Copeland and Delph discuss Senior Night win

Three yeas ago, it would have been hard to fathom the Cedar Ridge women’s basketball team finishing with a winning season, much less making the state playoffs. On Tuesday night, the Red Wolves sewed up a winning season with a 53-38 win over Walter Williams on Senior Night at Red Wolves Gymnasium. Seniors Amiyah Ware, Cameron Copeland, Addie Reid, Cierra Copeland and Jordyan Delph were honored between games of the doubleheader. Once again, it was Ware who provided the fireworks offensively for the Red Wolves. She scored 24 points to lead all scorers. Ware’s name will go down in the record books after she broke the county record with 54 points against Western Alamance last year, breaking the Orange County record that had stood for 45 years. For Reid, it was her final regular season game inside a gym she’s grown very accustomed to over the years. She won two conference championships and a regional title inside Red Wolves Gymnasium in volleyball. On Tuesday night, her former high school coach, Fiona Cunningham, was in attendance. Cunningham is now an assistant at North Carolina Central, where Reid will attend next season. Cameron and Cierra Copeland have stuck through the program from the very beginning of their freshman year, when the pandemic was still present. The Red Wolves had just five players for some games. The Copelands were two of those players who stuck it out through a winless season. Now, they will host a game in the Central Conference Tournament next Monday. Delph is in her first season on the varsity. Cedar Ridge will await to see who they will place for the Central Tournament, which will be Monday night at Red Wolves Gymnasium. 

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Amiyah Ware

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is senior basketball guard Amiyah Ware. In her first year at Cedar Ridge, Ware grabbed the scene unlike any women’s basketball player in Hillsborough since possibly Tere Williams at Orange High in the mid-1990s, putting up scoring numbers never seen in town history. A transfer from The Burlington School, Ware set the county record by scoring 54 points in a game against Western Alamance on January 10, 2023. She broke a record that had stood since 1978. The following month in a win over Durham School of the Arts, Ware scored 51 points in a win at Sikes Gymnasium. She became the first player, regardless of gender, to ever score 50 points in a season in Orange County history. This year, Ware has been the leading scorer for a Cedar Ridge team that’s on track to make the state playoffs for the first time since 2018. The Red Wolves swept the season series from Orange for the first time since 2014. She scored 15 points in a victory over the Lady Panthers. Last month, Ware had a season-high 35 points in an overtime win over the Panthers. In November, Ware signed with Division II North Greenville to play college basketball.. While her career at Cedar Ridge will only be two years, she will leave a legacy in the record books that won’t be forgotten.

Cedar Ridge women’s basketball’s Addie Reid & Sarah Utley discuss season sweep of Orange

For the first time since 2013, the Cedar Ridge women’s basketball team has swept a season series from crosstown rival Orange. On Friday night, the Red Wolves defeated the Panthers 37-32 at Red Wolves Gymnasium on Friday night. The Red Wolves trailed 26=17 with 4:58 remaining in the third quarter, but the Red Wolves outscored the Lady Panthers 13-5 in the fourth quarter. Senior Amiyah Ware led the Red Wolves with 15 points, but senior center Addie Reid added eight points and four rebounds. Junior point guard Sarah Utley registered eight points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Cedar Ridge is looking to make the state playoffs for the first time since 2018, when they went 14-11. This season has been the most successful year for Cedar Ridge women’s basketball since the 2018 campaign, when they won 14 games. After beating Orange on Friday, Cedar Ridge has won eleven and are gunning for more. For Reid, she’s looking forward to the next chapter after an eventful school year. She was named Homecoming Queen last September. In October, she won the Central Conference Tournament championship, beating Orange in four sets. It was her seventh championship in volleyball. Last week, Reid announced she was going to play volleyball at North Carolina Central. Former Cedar Ridge head coach Fiona Cunningham is now an assistant at Central. Cedar Ridge will travel to Mebane to face Eastern Alamance on Tuesday night. 

Ware scores 15, Reid adds eight as Cedar Ridge women beat Orange 37-32; sweep Lady Panthers for first time since 2014

In Red Wolves Gymnasium on January 27, 2021, the Orange women’s basketball team entered a barren, desolate Red Wolves Gymnasium to face its crosstown rival.

There were no fans allowed inside because America was still frozen in the pandemic. The sounds from the mouths of coaches B.J. Condron of Orange and William Dobbs of Cedar Ridge, along with the players, were muffled because they were wearing masks. Cedar Ridge suited up only five players, and one of those fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Needless to say, Orange, which suited up eleven players, won by the score of 52-13. Though then-Cedar Ridge principal Carlos Ramirez applauded his team after the buzzer sounded, it was the textbook definition of bleak.

Two of those five players who suited up for Cedar Ridge that day, and forced to play the entire 32 minutes simply because of necessity, were freshmen Cameron and Cierra Copeland.

Four years later, the twin sisters started as the Red Wolves women’s basketball team carried out a milestone much more to its liking.

For the first time since 2014, the Red Wolves completed a season sweep of crosstown rival Orange with a 37-32 victory inside a much more crowded Red Wolves Gymnasium on Friday night. Cedar Ridge senior Amiyah Ware scored 15 points to help the Red Wolves finish the game on a 15-5 run.

Cedar Ridge improved to 5-4 in the Central Conference. They’re currently a half-game ahead of Walter Williams for third place and now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Orange, which goes a long way to helping the Red Wolves host a game in the Central Conference Tournament.

Orange (10-9, 4-5), which was tied with Western Alamance for first place in the Central Conference two weeks ago, dropped its fourth straight game.

Addie Atkins led Orange with 12 points.

In the opening minutes of the third quarter, it appeared that Orange would avenge its overtime loss to the Red Wolves from January 10. The Red Wolves missed its first six shots from the field in the second half. Atkins drained a 3-pointer with 4:58 remaining in the third quarter off a pass from Evelyn George to put the Lady Panthers ahead 26-17. Cedar Ridge point guard Sarah Utley started the comeback with a running one-hander over the outstretched arms of Natalie Robertson from the right baseline. After a shot by Orange’s Shannon Murphy rimmed out, Utley came down the floor and sank a three-pointer from the top of the floor to cut the Red Wolves deficit to 26-22, leading to an Orange timeout.

The turning point came late in the third quarter when Orange center Marshea Byrd, who finished with eleven rebounds, had a stickback attempted that nearly balanced on the front of the rim before it fell off. Cedar Ridge’s Jamee Watson threw a gorgeous bounce pass that avoided the right baseline and found center Addie Reid, who banked in a shot while getting fouled by Byrd. That cut Orange’s lead to 27-25 at the end of the quarter.

Ware started the fourth quarter with a baseline drive push shot off a pass from Watson that beat Orange’s 1-2-2 zone press. Then Watson drained a jumper from the top of the key to give Cedar Ridge its first lead since it was 10-8. Ware grabbed a defensive rebound following a subsequent Orange miss and eventually found Kate Finnegan for a 19-footer to give the Red Wolves a 30-27 lead.

Orange’s Maura McMurtry sank a 15-footer over Watson with 4:27 remaining, but Cedar Ridge kept the Panthers scoreless for the next four minutes. Ware rebounded her own miss and scored on a short baseline jumper, then followed with a deep scoop shot that banked in high off the window.

Byrd’s stickback shot with 16 seconds remaining gave Orange a fleeting hope, but Reid erased that with two free throws in the waning seconds.

Cedar Ridge, which improved to 11-9, travels to Eastern Alamance on Tuesday. The Red Wolves eleven wins are the most for the team since the 2017-2018 season, when they finished 14-11.



Cedar Ridge women’s basketball’s Amiyah Ware & Calla Lundberg discuss win vs. Chatham Central

The Cedar Ridge women’s basketball team is in position to reach the 3A State Playoffs for the first time since 2018. The Red Wolves are 9-6 as they prepare to face Walter Williams in Burlington on Friday night. The Red Wolves defeated crosstown rival Orange last Wednesday behind 35 points from Amiyah Ware, which was the most points any player from Orange County has scored so far this year, regardless of gender. Last Monday, the Red Wolves defeated Chatham Central 46-35 at Red Wolves Gymnasium in its final nonconfernce game of the regular season. Ware led the Red Wolves with 17 points. Freshman Calla Lundberg, who was called up from the junior varsity team last month, chipped in with nine points as the Red Wolves reached nine wins in a season for the first time in six years. Lundberg and Kate Finnegan were both moved up to varsity before Christmas and have provided an immediate contribution. Cedar Ridge is only one game behind Orange, Western Alamance and Eastern Alamance for first place in the Central Conference as the second half of the conference campaign starts next week. Ware, who signed to play with Division II North Greenville, is having another All-Conference season. She scored 24 points in a loss to Eastern Alamance on Friday.