S. Nash sends Lady Warriors home
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 24, 2004 1:56 PM
STANHOPE -- The hottest team heading into the postseason continued its aggressive, confident play in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A Sectional No. 1 playoffs Monday evening.
Southern Nash bolted to an early double-digit lead and maintained its momentum in a 47-33 victory against Eastern Wayne. The Ladybirds (12-13) won a playoff game for the first time since Feb. 19, 2001, and continue play Wednesday at Northeastern Coastal 3-A champion Bertie.
Eastern Wayne concluded its season 11-13.
Eastern Wayne's team breaks the huddle during Monday's first round game against Southern Nash. Coach Brent Holland is in the center in the red shirt.
The Ladybirds entered their Big Eight North tournament as the No. 5 seed and claimed the title by upsetting archrival Nash Central, Wilson Beddingfield and Wilson Fike. The reward was a No. 2 seed and a home date in the playoffs.
"Our approach to the last week has been let's just go out, have a good time and just relax," fourth-year Ladybirds coach Scott Collie said. "If you had said two weeks ago that Southern Nash is going to win the conference tournament and go to the second round of the playoffs, whoever you were talking to would have laughed."
They're not laughing now.
The Warriors became the Ladybirds' latest victim.
"It was a little bit of both," Eastern Wayne coach Brent Holland said of Southern Nash's aggressive and confident attitude. "We ran into a team that got their best player back and they started playing well."
Eastern Wayne opened the game in a 2-3 zone, but fell asleep on defense. Southern Nash worked the ball around the perimeter and attacked certain points inside, but if the shot wasn't available, the ball was kicked back outside.
The Warriors failed to defend the initial pass several times and when the ball went to the corner, no one stepped out to contest the shot. That's where Wood blistered the defense by hitting five consecutive 3-pointers as the Ladybirds built an 11-point lead late in the first quarter.
Point guard Jessica Jones, Courtney Bissette and Casey Williams combined for all five assists on Woods' baskets.
"We found a hot shooter ... attacked the zone well and moved the ball well," Collie said. "That's the key. You can shoot the three a lot of times and just fall in love with it, but you forget to go inside.
"Our theme the last four games is let's play inside-out. Once again, it's not necessarily something that was new, they're just listening better and doing what we're trying to put in place."
"That put us on our heels," Holland said.
Once the Warriors withstood the Ladybirds' first run, they managed to climb back into the contest.
Jessy Perkins, who worked against a double team all evening, tallied six second-quarter points. Natasha Wiley crashed the boards, Nicole Greene handed out three assists and Sierra King provided five points.
Southern Nash's 12-point lead dwindled to 23-18 with 4:27 remaining before halftime. The Ladybirds regained some offensive momentum and closed the period with a 14-10 advantage, and led by nine at the break.
"When we were in at halftime down seven (actually nine), I thought we were okay," Holland said. "I don't think they did anything special, but we just missed a lot of shots. We didn't step up to hit shots on the wing when they were doubling down on Jessy."
The shooting troubles continued in the second half. The Warriors managed just 12 points on four field goals and shot a paltry 40 percent (4-of-10) at the free throw line.
Yasmine Washington hit back-to-back baskets late in the third as Eastern Wayne pulled within 37-28. But Williams' 12-footer off a Jones' assist and Wood's open-court layup boosted the Ladybirds' advantage to double digits -- 41-28 -- with six minutes left in regulation.
Eastern Wayne never threatened again. Perkins and King finished in double figures for the Warriors with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Wood emerged the Ladybirds' top scorer with 17 points.
2004 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 3-A
Sectional No. 1 playoffs
(at Southern Nash HS, Stanhope)
Eastern Wayne 7 14 7 5 -- 33
So. Nash 15 13 9 10 -- 47
EASTERN WAYNE (11-13)
Yasmine Washington 3 0 0-0 6, Mirandis Lewis 0 0 0-0 0, LaNiece Sims 0 0 0-0 0, Nicole Greene 1 0 0-0 2, Natasha Wiley 0 0 1-2 1, Sierra King 1 2 2-2 10, Jazzmine Lee 0 0 0-0 0, Kristen Elliott 0 0 0-2 0, Jessy Perkins 5 0 4-11 14. TOTALS -- 10 2 7-17 33.
SOUTHERN NASH (12-13)
Courtney Bissette 3 0 2-2 8, Brittany Wood 1 5 0-0 17, Amanda Sagadraca 2 0 0-2 4, Ginger Warren 3 0 1-2 7, Katie Bunt 0 0 0-0 0, Jessica Jones 1 1 0-0 5, Charlene Grady 0 0 0-0 0, Casey Williams 3 0 0-2 6. TOTALS -- 13 6 3-8 47.
Three-point baskets -- Eastern Wayne 2 (King 2); So. Nash 6 (Wood 5, Jones). Turnovers -- Eastern Wayne 15, So. Nash 18. Total fouls -- Eastern Wayne 12, So. Nash 11. Fouled out -- Lewis. Technicals -- none.
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