02/10/08 — ECC girls showdown: Beddingfield edges EW ... again

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ECC girls showdown: Beddingfield edges EW ... again

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 10, 2008 2:13 AM

WILSON -- Eastern Wayne's chance to upend No. 1-ranked Wilson Beddingfield slipped through its collective fingertips Friday evening.

The Bruin women profited from an offensive rebound and sideline turnover in the final 13.7 seconds to turn back the Warriors, 76-71, on Friday evening. Beddingfield (22-0 overall) clinched a share of its third consecutive Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season title.

"We were very fortunate to come away with a win," said Bruins coach Debra Pegram. "I kept telling them to 'slow down,' but we have one gear and that's wide open. There were times I wanted to go out there and stop the ball myself."

The Warriors used turnovers to whittle a 10-point deficit to four with three-plus minutes left in regulation. Jasmine Middleton and Danielle Daniel combined for three uncontested layups, all off Eboni Reid assists, to close the gap to 59-55.

Beddingfield stretched its advantage to 64-55 on Jean Best's bank shot off the glass underneath and Monique Spry's conventional, three-point play. But Eastern Wayne clearly had momentum and appeared ready to snap the Bruins' 28-game, ECC regular-season win streak.

Brittani Billups capped the 15-7 run with two free throws as the Warriors climbed within 66-64. The teams traded scoring possessions for the next 30 seconds until the Bruins pulled down a crucial offensive rebound on a missed free throw.

Ansia Dial grabbed the ball over Billups' out-stretched hands and charged toward the basket. Billups picked up her fourth foul and Dial sank both free throws for a 73-68 lead.

"I'm yelling 'box out' and it bounces right over Brittani's head," said Eastern Wayne coach Brent Holland. "The one (rebound) we needed was right there at the end. We rebound that, and at least you get a shot to tie ... who knows?"

Daniel swished a 3-pointer on the Warriors' next possession. After Vielka Givens hit the back end of a two-shot foul, Eastern Wayne committed a turnover with 2.9 seconds to go. Spry closed the door with two free throws at the 1.3-second mark and ended up with 27 points.

"We didn't come over here to get a moral victory," said Holland. "We gave them all they could handle and are extremely disappointed we didn't get the win."

Billups emerged the game's top scorer with 30 points, including a 10 of 13 effort at the free throw line. McIntyre supplied 17 points, while Daniel and Middleton pumped in 12 and 11, respectively.

Reid dished out 11 assists.