Chester appeared sluggish and offensively challenged in the first half, a rarity for the 13-1 team ranked second in South Carolina.
But then the third quarter progressed, and a dormant Cyclones team utilized steals and points in transition to top the 10th ranked Stallions 62-54.
"We came out in the third planning to use the zone, then apply pressure as the quarter went on," Chester coach Marilyn Milton said. "Our offense got going, but it was our defense that brought us the victory."
Each team off to hot starts, led by Chester. The Lady Cyclones began with three consecutive baskets, including a 3-pointer. But the Cyclones slowed down and finished the first quarter with just nine points after struggling to solve the Stallions' zone defense.
The Lady Cyclones relied on a stout front court to mount a second-quarter rally. Chester Forward Raven Feaster proved instrumental in the paint, scoring six of her eight first half points in the second quarter, which helped bail out the Cyclones' poor jump shooting. She scored a basket at the 2-minute mark to tie the game at 21.
Team captain and Lady Stallions' chief offensive catalyst Timisty Nelson finished the first half with 13 points, most coming on fast breaks. Forward London Minor grabbed several offensive boards, getting to the line in what became a trend for the Stallions. Twelve of South Pointe's 27 first half points came from free throws, and the Stallions were up four as the second-quarter buzzer sounded.
South Pointe didn't hesitate in the second half to attack the basket despite its lack of size. The strategy paid dividends, particularly at the free-throw line.
Nelson began the third quarter on fire, hitting a basket to make the game 37-27 at the 5-minute mark. But the turnovers started, and the Stallions could barely get a shot off as Chester went on a 10-0 run that tied the game. A 3-pointer at the buzzer by senior guard Misty Nelson put Chester up 42-38 entering the fourth.
Chester closed the game out with a 20 point quarter. Feaster accounted for 11, including seven free throws as the Stallions' frustrations and fouls mounted. Feaster and Nelson combine for 47 of Chester's 62 points to propel the Cyclones to 14-1 and a perfect 4-0 record in the region.
SOUTH POINTE 54
Chester -- Misty Nelson 24, Raven Feaster 23, Lameisha Heath 6, Shaterria Mayfield 5, Shakeria Sanders 2, Tyisha Springs 2
South Pointe -- Timisty Nelson 24, London Minor 9, Keauna Tinnin 8 ,Ashley Bryson 4, Ashley Jaggers 4, Emily Searcy 3, Chelsea Thomas 2
3-pointers -- Chester 2 (Nelson, Mayfield), South Pointe 2 (Nelson, Searcy). Team fouls -- Chester 18, South Pointe 14.
Records: Chester 14-1, Region 4-0; South Pointe 11-6, 2-2