EWING — Castlewood girls basketball coach Barry Ruff has a simple rule he expects his players to follow.
If you shoot it and you miss it, you best go get it.
The Lady Blue Devils followed that rule to a T on Friday night, and they picked up a W in the semifinals of the Cumberland District tournament as a result.
Top-seeded Castlewood pulled down 30 offensive rebounds, which helped the Lady Devils offset a poor shooting performance and roll to a 61-30 victory over Twin Springs.
“We had a lot of second-chance shots,” Ruff said. “I said, ‘You can shoot as many as you want, but if you get the rebound, you can shoot more.’ Eventually they’re going to go in. I like our chance shooting layups.”
The Lady Blue Devils will face No. 2 Eastside today at 5 p.m. in the title game. The Lady Spartans survived a game against Thomas Walker that featured 53 fouls and 83 foul shots, escaping with a 70-50 decision.
Twin Springs and Thomas Walker will meet in the consolation game today at 2 p.m.
Despite hitting just 31 percent of their shots, the Lady Blue Devils (17-5) were never in danger against the Lady Titans (8-15). Offensive rebounding was half that equation. Stifling full-court defense was the other half.
By halftime, Castlewood was up 34-14 after forcing 18 turnovers and pulling down 20 offensive boards in the first two quarters.
“We wanted to switch it up,” Ruff said. “We do a lot of zone press, but tonight we wanted to do some man-to-man. We want to set the tempo with our defense.”
All told, the Lady Blue Devils forced 25 turnovers while limiting the Lady Titans to six offensive rebounds. Shots on goal is normally a stat reserved for hockey, but on Friday night it offered some insight into Castlewood’s dominance — the Lady Blue Devils took 88 shots from the field to just 37 for Twin Springs.
Caitlyn Fleming led the way for Castlewood with 19 points, Lexie Kennedy scored 12 and Korey Purtee added 10. Shiloah Darnell paced Twin Springs with 11.
The opening contest was physical to say the least, but Eastside was able to gain some breathing room in the first quarter and cruise into the title game.
With senior leader Samantha Cole sitting out with a broken nose, the Lady Spartans used a team effort and solid rebounding to score the win.
“We told them they’d have to rebound in this game to win it,” Eastside coach Jeff Adkins said. “We knew it was going to be physical. We didn’t expect as many fouls, but that’s part of the game.”
After trailing late in the first quarter, Lindsey Dean hit a pair of 3-pointers to put her team ahead 20-13 at the end of the period. The Lady Spartans outscored Thomas Walker 21-11 in the second quarter and never looked back.
Dean finished with 27 points for Eastside (14-7) and Madison Powers added 13.
Morgan White led Thomas Walker (6-17) with 13 points. Madison Lake added 12 points and Marquetta Garnett scored 10.