12/30/04 — Hawks, EW girls prevail in openers

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Hawks, EW girls prevail in openers

Published in Sports on December 30, 2004 1:55 PM

LA GRANGE -- In the girls' bracket of The Free Press Holiday Invitational on Wednesday at North Lenoir's Wooten Gymnasium, there was one blowout and one close game.

Predictably, the rout came from North Lenoir, which crushed Spring Creek 60-28. The close contest was won by Eastern Wayne, which eased by South Lenoir 42-40.

North Lenoir (9-1) will now face Eastern Wayne (4-5) in the girls' championship today at 6 p.m. South Lenoir (4-4) will take on Spring Creek (2-8) at 2 p.m. in the consolation contest.

North Lenoir and Eastern Wayne have already met once this year, with the Hawks routing the Warriors, 61-33 on Nov. 18.

"We just hope they don't show up," said Eastern Wayne coach Brent Holland of North Lenoir with a laugh. "We're going to go back and scrimmage our varsity boys so we can handle their defensive pressure."

The Hawks had no trouble putting Spring Creek away with their trademark pressure defense on Wednesday. North Lenoir forced 46 Gators' turnovers and held Spring Creek to 27.7 percent (13-of-47) shooting from the field. The Gators also shot themselves in the foot with a horrible night at the free throw line, only converting 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) at the charity stripe.

But North Lenoir coach Wayne Floyd wasn't pleased with his team's offensive effort. The Hawks, who played without their second-leading scorer (junior Katie Maloney is on a family trip), only shot 30.1 percent (25-of-83) from the field and 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from the free throw line.

"We missed too many shots," Floyd said. "We just didn't have that killer instinct that we normally have. I can't complain about our defense, we held them to 28 points. We're happy with the win, but we're not happy with the way we played in the first half."

North Lenoir's Shannon Plymouth led all scorers with 23 points. No other Hawk scored in double figures, although all but one of the 11 North Lenoir players that suited up scored.

In the day's first game, South Lenoir took a 19-7 lead after the first quarter. The Blue Devils didn't score again until a Nicole Corn shot at the halftime buzzer tied the contest at 21-21.

The lead swapped hands five times in the second half before South Lenoir's Kendra Pryor tied the contest at 40-40 on a putback with eight seconds left.

Eastern Wayne's Sierra King pushed the ball up the court and forced a wild 35-foot shot with two seconds left. But South Lenoir's Jess King inexplicably fouled the Warrior on the attempt.

"We wanted to push the ball right back at them," Holland said. "(Sierra King) put that shot up too early and too quick. I hate it for South Lenoir, but I guess they bailed us out with that foul. But we'll take it; we need a win."

Sierra King buried two of the three free throws she took. Jess King had a chance to send the game to overtime on a perfectly executed full-court play, but her shot bounced off the rim.

"We had been aggressive to try to get something created," said South Lenoir coach Guy Edwards. "But that one play didn't lose the game. We had opportunities throughout the game and we just didn't take advantage of them."

Sierra King led the Warriors with 18 points. Corn was the Blue Devils' top scorer with 12 points, while Pryor added 11.


Spring Creek 8 6 5 9 -- 28

North Lenoir 17 10 18 15 -- 60


Carroll 3, Potter 1, Pride 7, Sauter 1, Brooks 6, Billups 7, Morgan 3.


Rasberry 3, Shannon Plymouth 23, K. Miller 2, Lynch 9, Newkirk 8, Howard 2, Spruill 2, Davis 6, Dunn 3, C. Miller 2.

Eastern Wayne 7 14 11 10 -- 42

South Lenoir 19 2 7 12 -- 40


Sierra King 18, Alemdar 9, Wiley 8, Sims 7.


King 2, Herring 7,Nicole Corn 12, Ham 6, Kendra Pryor 11, Gardner 2.


Free Press Sports Editor