DUNN — A trio of Lady Eagles, and nearly four, scored in double figures Tuesday to lead East Bladen past Midway in the Four County Conference opener for both teams.
The win improved the Lady Eagles to 8-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
East Bladen opened the game with a 6-2 spurt, but the Lady Raiders caught fire and finished the first quarter on a 12-7 run to trail by just 14-13.
The Lady Eagles ratcheted up the defense in the second stanza, holding Midway to only two free throws while the East Bladen offense put 16 points on the scoreboard for a 30-15 advantage at intermission.
The Lady Eagles came out of halftime with fresh focus and opened the second half on a 6-0 burst to open a 36-15 edge. The momentum continued with a balanced scoring attack from Lacey Suggs, Abby Ward, Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson and Christiana Cromartie. East Bladen finished the third quarter with a 13-7 run that gave the Lady Eagles a 49-22 lead.
East Bladen opened the fourth frame with a 6-2 spurt for a 55-24 advantage, then began mixing in its bench players the rest of the way. Ward drained a three-pointer for the Lady Eagles as they coasted to the easy 28-point win.
“I told them that we weren’t covering the wing and playing our best defensive game, and I challenged them and they responded,” East Bladen coach Patty Evers said. “We ran the floor and shot the ball as well as I’ve seen (but) we need to focus more on learning the defensive schemes and stop over-thinking.”
Suggs led East Bladen with a near triple-double. She had 27 points, grabbed 14 boards and had eight assists. Suggs also added three steals and blocked a pair of Midway shots. Moore-Peterson turned in a huge game with 16 points and also had eight rebounds, while Cromartie scored 10 points and blocked three shots. Ward just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 assists. Emily Scott pulled down eight rebounds and blocked two shots.
Midway used a big fourth quarter to put Tuesday’s game into the win column in a Four County Conference opener against visiting East Bladen.
The loss drops the Eagles to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
The two teams battled evenly through the first quarter before the Raiders took an 11-9 lead going into the second stanza. But East Bladen put together its best quarter of the game, outscoring Midway by a 24-19 margin and taking a 33-30 lead into halftime.
Neither team could pull away from the other through the third period, but the Eagles did manage to extend the lead by a point with a 16-15 margin in the quarter for a 49-45 edge.
The Raiders then went off down the stretch, outscoring the visitors by a 26-13 verdict to steal the nine-point win.
Eian Hines led the Eagles with 17 points and Denzel Johnson added nine points.
Lady Knights win
ROSE HILL — West Bladen used a strong finish to knock off Union on Tuesday in the Four County Conference opener for both teams.
The win improved the Lady Knights to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
West Bladen got its offense rolling in the first quarter, with both Laikyn Pait and Alanna Ludlum canning three-pointers to lead the Lady Knights out to a 14-10 advantage.
The three-pointers continued in the second stanza for West Bladen as Pait hit another one and Akira Grimes drained one. The Lady Knights outscored Union by a 10-7 margin and took a 24-17 lead into halftime.
Things went stale for West Bladen early in the second half as the Lady Spartans outscored the visitors by a 9-3 verdict to whittle the deficit down to 27-26 going into the final 8 minutes.
But West Bladen’s offense responded down the stretch, putting 14 points on the board and sealed the eight-point win.
“We ran our offense and attacked the basket,” said West Bladen coach Rick Rhoda. “Our rebounding was much better and we didn’t turn the ball over as much. We got a lot of second-chance shots on the offensive boards.
“Laikyn Pait played the way a scorer should and the bigs owned the boards for us,” he added. “Logan Autry is settling into the point-guard role and took charge on the floor. Patience Parker stepped up big for us on the defensive end …”
Pait led the Lady Knights with 18 points, including a trio of three-pointers, and nine West Bladen players scored in the game.
Knights win tight one
In a defensive battle that lasted from the first tick of the clock to the last, West Bladen managed to slip past Union on Tuesday in their Four County Conference opener.
The win moves the Knights to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
West Bladen opened a 13-8 lead through the first quarter and it proved to be the advantage the Knights would need. The two teams traded 10 points apiece through the second stanza and West Bladen took a 23-18 lead into halftime.
After some adjustments, the Knights put together a 13-10 advantage through the third period and extended the lead to 36-28, but the Spartans got within four in the final quarter before West Bladen sealed the win.
Stefan McDonald led the Knights with 16 points, while Shaquille Johnson added 15 points with a three-pointer. Sayaun Dent contributed 11 points for West Bladen.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.