Eastern Wayne falls in sectional finals
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on February 25, 2007 2:15 AM
WINTERVILLE -- Eastern Wayne had the No. 2 team in North Carolina rattled.
The South Central Falcons -- a perfect 25-0 entering the night -- saw their 14-point lead whittled down to just six with 32 seconds to play in the first half. The Falcons had scored just four points in the quarter and found the backboard more often than the hoop against the Warrior defense.
The Falcons, however, came away with a steal and layin by Sheresa Mills just before the halftime buzzer to go back up by eight and eventually wore down Eastern Wayne in th second half, winning 52-28 in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A Sectional No. 2 Final on Saturday night.
"We had our chances," said Eastern Wayne coach Brent Holland. "We had them on their heels right there at the end of the first half. We missed a lot of open shots, but they did a good job of forcing us to rush those shots.
"South Central's a tremendous basketball team, they've got all the weapons."
It was those weapons which finally did in Eastern Wayne, but not before the Warriors gave the host Falcons a major scare.
Despite falling behind 18-6 at the end of one quarter, Eastern Wayne came back in the second with the help of a zone which shut down the inside game of South Central.
"We were very aggressive, moved our feet and took chances," said Holland.
On offense, sophomore point guard Eboni Reid navigated through the Falcon press and was able to find her teammates for easy baskets to cut away at the lead.
"The last three or four games she's been running the offense very well and making good decisions," said Holland. "I told her back in October that we'd go as she'd go. She's matured a lot and we expect big things from her next year."
Yasmine Washington scored on a layup and knocked down a 3-pointer to pull the Warriors to within 22-16, before Mills' steal and subsequent layup.
In the second half, Eastern Wayne and South Central both came out ice cold as the two teams combined to miss their first nine shots.
Washington finally broke the drought as she nailed another 3-pointer to pull the Warriors to within 24-19.
It was then South Central's turn to drill outside shots as Emily Perkins hit a three and Jasmine Bryant nailed two to cap an 11-3 run and push the Falcons' lead to 35-22.
Eastern Wayne could never recover and saw its season come to a close.
The Warriors were led by Yasmine Washington's 12 points. Brittani Billups was held to just five points thanks to stellar interior defense by the Falcons, but did manage to contribute 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Eastern Wayne finishes their season 13-13 and has big hopes for the future.
"Hopefully our girls got a little taste of this and we can get back and maybe take a step forward next year," said Holland. "We've got 11 of 12 girls back and a very good crop of JV girls coming in -- so we're looking forward to competing next year and trying to take that next step."
N.C. High School
Class 3-A Sectional No. 2 Final
Eastern Wayne 6 10 10 7 -- 52
South Central 18 6 15 13 -- 39
EASTERN WAYNE (13-13)
Yasmine Washington 3 2 0-2 12, Brittani Billups 2 0 1-2 5, Tiara McIntyre 2 0 0-1 4, Danielle Daniels 0 1 0-0 3, Sherrelle Burt 0 1 0-0 3, Noelle Kelly 1 0 0-0 2, Jasmine Middleton 1 0 0-0 2, Eboni Reid 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 10 4 1-5 33.
SOUTH CENTRAL (26-0)
Kelsey McCorkie 5 2 0-0 16, Jessica Joyner 4 0 1-2 9, Arecia Moore 2 0 4-4 8, Sheresa Mills 4 0 0-3 8, Jasmine Bryant 0 2 0-0 6, Emily Perkins 1 1 0-0 5. TOTALS -- 16 5 5-9 52.
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