02/26/04 — N. Johnston-Lakewood

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N. Johnston-Lakewood

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 26, 2004 1:55 PM

KENLY -- Although North Johnston's girls beat Lakewood 66-55 to advance to the Sectional No. 4 finals in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A playoffs, there was little joy in Kenly after the game last night for coach David Bagwell.

It certainly did not require an expert in body language to determine that he was not happy with his team's effort.

"We didn't play very hard or very well," he said. "Just far too many mistakes defensively. They dribbled right through us time after time."

Bagwell could not be consoled, even though his Lady Panthers were able to contain Lakewood's outstanding scoring duo of Vonnie McNeil and Keshawn Mozee. They were held to a combined total of 27 points on the night, as compared to their average of almost 40-plus per game.

North Johnston got off to a fast, 22-7 start in the first quarter, dominating play in all areas. The Panthers outrebounded their guests 10-6, and were five for eight from the free throw line. Lakisha McFadden contributed her team's only three-point basket of the night, while Helen Moore had seven points.

Moore, who was high scorer on the night with 26 points, added three baskets in both the second and third quarters. It was her play at both ends of the court in the final quarter, along with superior 10-of-15 team foul shooting, that held off a Lakewood comeback.

Thanks to the efforts of McNeil, Mozee, and center Melreana Johnson, the Lady Leopards got within two, 53-51, at 2:57 off a Mozee steal. That was as close as they could get before Moore took over. A three-point play, two free throws off a breakaway steal, and a basket going all the way off a rebound made it 60-51 at 1:55.

That put the game out of reach.

"We got to within two, but then we seemed to tire," said Lakewood coach Angela Hemmingway. "The effort was there, but we made some bad decisions."

North Johnston faces Midway at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to next week's regionals in Greenville.

"If we're going to move on, we're going to have to play better defensively," said Bagwell. "We won't survive if we keep making all those unforced turnovers. Midway is an excellent ball club."

2004 N.C. High School

Athletic Association Class 1-A

Sectional No. 4 semifinals

(at N. Johnston HS)


Lakewood 7 15 18 15 -- 55

N. Johnston 22 12 16 16 -- 66

LAKEWOOD (11-10)

Keshawn Mozee 7 0 2-4 16, Vonnie McNeil 3 1 2-5 11, Meleana Johnson 5 0 0-2 10, Angela Deaver 2 1 0-1 7, Margo Newkirk 3 0 1-2 7, Angel Roberts 1 0 1-1 3, Lindsey Benton 0 0 1-2 1. TOTALS -- 21 2 7-17 55.


Helen Moore 11 0 4-7 26, Janna Rogerson 4 0 5-10 13, Lakisha McFadden 2 1 2-4 9, Amanda Pope 2 0 3-6 7, Krystal Atkinson 2 0 0-0 4, Brandi Brinchek 1 0 2-2 4, Candice Hines 1 0 1-2 3. TOTALS -- 23 1 17-31 66.

Three-point baskets -- Lakewood 2 (McNeil, Deaver), North Johnston 1 (McFadden). Total fouls -- Lakewood 20, North Johnston 17. Turnovers -- Lakewood 27, North Johnston 26. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.