If you haven’t yet seen the Lady Eagles of East Bladen play basketball, then perhaps this weekend would be the time to do it.
The Lady Eagles will play at the Crown Arena on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Eastern Regional finals. It is the last step before the state championship game on March 12.
Coach Patty Evers and her staff have a team that has put together a 31-0 record this season, while piling up achievements and accolades along the way. They include:
— Being the No. 1 ranked Class 2-A team in the state all season, according to NCpreps.
— They have knocked off every opponent put in front of them, from Class 2-A to 4-A, and usually by 20 points or more.
— They ran away with the Four County Conference regular-season championship, then ran off with the conference tournament title.
— They have so far walloped all four teams they have faced in the state playoffs by an average margin of 24 points.
On top of that, they have the reigning two-time conference Player of the Year in senior Lacey Suggs, who is likely to earn the honor for a third straight season.
But this hardly a one-girl team. In fact, this is perhaps one of the most team-oriented group of players you have likely seen in many years — from the starters to the end of the bench. They share the ball, they pick each other up, they work together fluidly, they are each a single important piece to the puzzle that fits together perfectly.
While much of that can be attributed to Evers’ coaching, it is also a testament to the type of players she has. They are talented, they are intelligent and they are just plain good people — and their athletic and academic success is a byproduct of those characteristics.
This team deserves the support of its school, community and county on Saturday. They have worked hard since late October as a team — and many, if not all the players, were working hard before that. In addition, this team has a handful of seniors who have helped bring success to East Bladen for three previous seasons.
So we urge you to travel to Fayetteville early on Saturday. Go have a nice lunch someplace. Visit a mall or one of the numerous historic sites or museums available. Make a day of it — but be sure to find your way to the Crown Complex and get a good seat at the Crown Arena before 4 p.m. so you can cheer on your Lady Eagles.
The game will cost you $9 per person, but the quality of play and chance to see your local girls playing for a shot at a state championship will easily be well worth it.
We hope to see a throng of folks there from Bladen County — and be sure to wear your East Bladen blue.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.”