02/18/07 — ECC 3-A girls final: Defending 3-A state champion Beddingfield routs EW

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ECC 3-A girls final: Defending 3-A state champion Beddingfield routs EW

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on February 18, 2007 2:13 AM

WILSON -- A short memory.

That's what Eastern Wayne coach Brent Holland will try to instill into his girls following their 67-31 loss to Wilson Beddingfield in the championship game of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament on Friday night.

"Forget about it," said Holland, whose team will host West Craven at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. "We're just one of 54 out of 55 straight wins Beddingfield has. We'll forget about it and come Monday, work to get ready to win a first-round playoff game at home."

Beddingfield, the defending state and ECC regular-season champions, played like they were the queens of the gym all evening.

The Bruins played stellar defense, ran their offense to perfection and outhustled the Warriors on virtually every possession.

"They got every loose ball and their defensive pressure was fantastic," said Holland. "They're a great ballclub and were a step quicker all night long."

After a slow start offensively, the Bruins put on a layup drill during the final three quarters of play.

Beddingfield center Jean Best used her 6-foot-4 frame to score with ease and contested every inside shot by Eastern Wayne. She and her teammates also made life rough for Eastern Wayne center Brittani Billups.

Billups scored just 11 points and constantly found herself double-teamed in the post which led to missed shots and turnovers by the junior.

"We knew Billups was such a strong post player and I thought our people did a great job on her," said Beddingfield coach Debra Pegram. "Our girls stepped up and made her life miserable."

With Billups frustrated all night by being a non-factor, the Bruins took the ball right at the Warriors and played much more aggressive basketball.

Beddingfield outscored Eastern Wayne 22-9 during the second quarter to take a commanding 33-14 lead into the locker room. The quarter was all that more impressive considering the Bruins scored all 22 of their points in the paint.

In the second half, the Bruins and Best -- who scored a game-high 21 points -- continued to dominate in the post as their lead grew to as many as 29 points. In all, 52 of Beddingfield's 67 points came via layups.

As the final seconds ticked away, the Bruins did little celebrating of their championship, acting instead as if they had done it before.

"It would've been really easy for this group to lose their focus with all the success we had the year before, but they haven't and I'm really proud of them," said Pegram. "I'm really proud of the way they're playing right now."

Eastern Wayne (10-12) was led by Billups who had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Yasmine Washington chipped in with nine points and nine rebounds.

Even with the lopsided loss, Holland couldn't help but reflect how far the program has come in just one season.

"We're learning and growing," said Holland, whose team made its first appearance in the ECC championship game under his regime. "It was a great opportunity for us to play in a championship game and to see where we would like to get to some day.

"Being in a championship game and making the playoffs -- off of a two-win season -- is fantastic for us."

Eastern Wayne 5 9 9 8 -- 31

Wilson Beddingfield 11 22 16 18 -- 67


Brittani Billups 4 0 3-6 11, Yasmine Washington 3 0 3-4 9, Tiara McIntyre 1 1 0-0 5, Tia Jones 1 0 0-0 2, Jasmine Middleton 1 0 0-1 2, Sherrelle Burt 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 11 1 6-11 31.


Jean Best 9 0 3-6 21, Troya Pope 7 0 0-0 14, Jessica Johnson 5 0 0-2 10, Shaniqua Clay 3 0 0-0 6, Monique Spry 2 0 0-0 4, Kelly Minshew 2 0 0-0 4, Casey Elliott 0 1 0-0 3, LaToya Farmer 1 0 0-0 2, Jessica Lucas 1 0 0-0 2, Nicole dela Rosa 0 0 1-2 1. TOTALS -- 30 1 4-10 67.