EPC -- Hawks' teams to play for EPC titles
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on February 20, 2004 1:56 PM
LA GRANGE -- Turning up the intensity at the last minute is an important quality for a good basketball team.
North Lenoir has just that kind of ability, and it showed in the closing moments of the Hawks' 51-46 win over rival South Lenoir in thursday's semifinal round of the Eastern Plains 2-A Conference tournament at Wooten Gym.
Tierd at 46-36 with two minutes to play, North Lenoir scored, stuffed a Blue Devil shot, hit three big free throws and managed to send South Lenoir away empty on their final five possessions of the game.
"South Lenoir kept us out of our offensive flow for much of the night," said North Lenoir coach Charlie Stevens. "We got the ball into our big guy (Lee), and he delivered. And overall, our kids played real well."
The Blue Devils played without leading scorer Dontrae Rhem for much of the contest due to foul trouble. The senior center fouled out of the game with 6:57 remaining and with only two points.
North Lenoir (21-4) was led by Dunn's 15 points. Lee finished with 13 and Cobb ended up with 10. Edwards had 16 points to lead the Blue Devils (17-9), while Paul Novicki added 10.
The win advances North Lenoir to the EPC championship game at North Pitt tonight in Bethel. The game will start at approximately 8 p.m.
South Lenoir will host a playoff game at home on Tuesday.
South Lenoir 15 10 10 11 -- 46
North Lenoir 16 16 10 9 -- 51
SOUTH LENOIR (16-9)
Terry Edwards 16, Dove 4, Rouse 8, Jones 3, Rhem 2, Tyndall 3, Paul Novicki 10.
NORTH LENOIR (21-4)
John Cobb 10, Mason 8, Best 2, Justin Dunn 15, Jones 3, Kevin Lee 13.
advance with late run
LAGRANGE -- North Lenoir's girls advanced to the Eastern Plains Conference Tournament championship game tonight, after beating Tarboro 54-45 in the semifinal game Thursday at Wooten Gym.
North Lenoir will face rival SW Edgecombe for the title at North Pitt. The game is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. The winner will take the No. 1 seed from the EPC into next week's state 2-A playoffs.
The Hawks (23-2) held onto a tenuous 39-34 lead with 6:32 left. But Lonnie Jones stole a Tarboro pass and hit Katie Maloney for a layup with a cross-court pass to push the lead to seven points.
The defensive spark from Jones -- who was playing with a severely sprained ankle -- turned out to be the difference. The Hawks pushed the lead to 14 points at 49-35 before a late run by the Vikings (13-11) made the score more respectable.
Maloney scored seven of her 12 points in the fourth quarter for the Hawks, while Shannon Plymouth had 11. The Hawks ran their pressure defense to perfection, forcing 43 Tarboro turnovers, including 15 in the first quarter.
Tarboro was led by Takeria Thorne's 11 points and Cassandra Jones' 10.
Tarboro 9 6 16 14 -- 45
North Lenoir 10 14 14 16 -- 54
Takeria Thorne 11, Cassandra Jones 10, Thomas 4, Jarrell 4, Anderson 7, Mercer 5, Brown 4.
NORTH LENOIR (23-2)
Broadie 2, Shannon Plymouth 11, Lynch 6, Lonnie Jones 16, Katie Maloney 12, Spruill 7.
play Cougars tough
BETHEL -- Greene Central's Fernande Brown hit a game-tying basket with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime, but the Rams couldn't take advantage of it in a 65-61 loss to SouthWest Edgecombe in Thursday's Eastern Plains Conference tournament semifinal game at North Pitt.
The Rams trailed by as many as seven points in the third quarter before cutting the margin to one going into the fourth.
The lead changed hands six times in the fourth quarter before Brown forced the tie. After SouthWest Edgecombe took a 53-51 lead on a Monique Hudson free throw with 15 seconds left, Greene Central's Deandra Tyson attempt a shot at the other end.
When the ball bounced off the rim, Brown grabbed the rebound and put it back in to force the overtime.
Greene Central 14 10 15 14 8 -- 61
SW Edgecombe 14 11 15 12 12 -- 65
GREENE CENTRAL (7-18)
Taketia May 23, Briana Stanton 12, April Jones 2, Fernande Brown 2, Deandra Tyson 8, Oreil Rodgers 6, Shenika King 8. TOTALS -- 25 (1) 10-15 61.
SW EDGECOMBE (18-7)
Tamara Hyman 13, Monique Hudson 17, Croya Shaw Norwood 6, Tracey Edwards 16, Brittney Talbott 2, Tahara Epps 8, Jamie Fisher 3. TOTALS -- 25 (3) 12-24 65.
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