DUBLIN — Visiting Purnell Swett used a 17-3 third quarter to run away with a 47-24 non-conference win at West Bladen on Friday.
The loss drops the Lady Knights to 1-3 on the season.
The Lady Rams opened the game with a 5-0 spurt and West Bladen didn’t get a point on the board until there was only 3:22 left in the first quarter. That point came on a free throw by Laikyn Pait, who followed it up with a jumper that cut the deficit to 5-3 — but it was the closest the lady Knights would get.
Purnell Swett finished the quarter with a 7-4 run that gave the Lady Rams a 12-7 lead. West Bladen’s points came on baskets by Jenna Dove and Elizabeth Albright.
In the second quarter, Purnell Swett dropped in three free throws to open the period before Pait found the bottom of the net with a three-pointer at the 4:30 mark. But the lady Rams closed the half with a 5-0 spurt and took a 20-10 lead into halftime.
“We’re turning the ball over way too much,” West Bladen coach Rick Rhoda said of the lady Knights’ 15 first-half giveaways. “The girls have to get rid of their nerves and play our kind of basketball.”
Those turnovers came down in the second half, but the visitors points went up.
Purnell Swett came out of the intermission and, after a Logan Autry free throw for West Bladen, went on an 8-0 run to poen a 28-11 advantage. Autry hit another basket to stop the bleeding, but the Lady Rams closed the third quarter with a 9-0 run that gave them a 37-13 edge.
Erika McKoy dropped in a bucket to open the fourth frame for the Lady Knights, but Purnell Swett scored the next six points for a 43-15 lead. Akira Grimes nailed a basket and Alanna Ludlum canned a free throw before the lady Rams got those three points back. West Bladen then went on a 5-0 run on a basket by Ludlum, a basket by Albright and a free throw by Grimes to pull within 46-24.
A Purnell Swett free throw finished off the 23-point win.
The Lady Knights were just 5-of-31 from the free throw line, and had 24 turnovers in the game.
“We got better running the offense in the fourth quarter,” Rhoda said. “But we’re still learning. It’s going to take some time.”
Pait led West Bladen with six points, while Ludlum contributed five points.
The Lady Knights will open Four County Conference play at Union on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.