02/26/08 — EWHS eliminates Southern Allamance

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EWHS eliminates Southern Allamance

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 26, 2008 2:53 PM

Eastern Wayne didn't celebrate, let out any yells or hang around the court to receive congratulations from the fans.

Once the Warriors dispatched Southern Alamance 69-49 in their opening-round, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A girls basketball game, they hustled to the classroom for their normal post-game meeting.

Senior Brittani Billups provided 35 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots. The Longwood (Va.) University signee received a game ball after scoring her 1,000th point in a Warrior uniform against Southern Wayne last week. During her two-year career at Eastern Wayne, Billups is averaging 21.8 points an outing.

Coming off an emotional victory against No. 1-ranked Wilson Beddingfield last week, the Warriors carried that intensity into the first quarter against Southern Alamance.

Tiarra McIntyre converted a layup just three seconds into the game, which ignited an 8-0 run and led to a 19-6 first-quarter advantage.

"We got off a to very good start, and I really liked the way we pushed the ball," Warrior coach Brent Holland said. "Brittani came out strong, and our girls were able to find her down low so she could use her variety of post moves."

Playing a strong half-court game, the Warriors (21-4 overall) extended their lead going into the break, but Holland did have some concerns. On one second-quarter possession the Patriots were able to collect five offensive rebounds and toss up six shots before eventually scoring and forcing Holland to spend a timeout.

"We're not a very tall team, and we work on rebounding every day in practice," Holland said. "In the second half we did a little better job and we were able to push the ball even more."

The Warriors forced the Patriots, a wild-card entry, into a transition game in the third quarter. The double-digit lead grew as McIntyre scored several layups on fast-break chances.

"Tiarra doesn't realize yet how good she can be," said Holland. "If she would come in every day and be focused on basketball I think she could be a player that could score 1,000 points herself."

Billups provided 20 points and six rebounds in the opening half. She continued her strong play until the four-minute mark of the final quarter when Holland took her out of the game. Billups exited to a standing ovation.

With their starters on the bench and a 23-point lead, the Warriors faltered on the offensive end but continued to stymie Southern Alamance on the defensive end. Sarah Folwell paced the Patriots with 14 points, while Crystal Alston contributed 12.

Eastern Wayne entertains Havelock in a sectional semifinal game Wednesday at 7 p.m. The winner faces either South Central or Southern Wayne in the sectional final on Friday.