03/02/08 — South Central eliminates Eastern Wayne from postseason

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South Central eliminates Eastern Wayne from postseason

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 2, 2008 2:01 AM

WINTERVILLE -- The third time was not the charm.

Beaten twice in regular-season play by perennial power South Central, underdog Eastern Wayne figured its bad luck might have disappeared.

It didn't.

The Falcons played stellar full-court defense and scored off numerous early turnovers in their 86-55 rout of the Warriors. South Central (29-0 overall) claimed its second consecutive N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A sectional title and advanced to next week's eastern regionals.

Facing a vocal crowd, Eastern Wayne (22-5) fell behind and could never recover. University of South Carolina track and field signee Kelsey McCorkle anchored the Falcon press and scored 11 first-quarter points, mostly on steals.

"They have five excellent athletes," Warriors head coach Brent Holland said. "They take away one whole side of the floor, and when they get you where they want you, then they jump the passing lanes to come away with steals."

Eastern Wayne trailed 25-8 after one quarter.

Holland employed several different combinations to escape the trap defense, but none proved successful.

"We knew we had to come out and start faster than we did in our first couple playoff games," Falcon head coach Mary Bryan-Carlyle said. "I give (Holland) and his team a lot of credit. They played us very well early in the year and we knew we'd have to be prepared for them tonight."

The state-ranked Falcons extended their lead in the third quarter. Each coach emptied their respective benches in the final period.

Eastern Wayne senior Brittani Billups collected a game-high 24 points in her final prep contest. The 6-foot forward faced constant double teams and pressure when she stepped outside of the lane.

Tiarra McIntyre supplied 11 points for the Warriors.

McCorkle paced the Falcons with 19 points, followed by Janesha Ebron with 14.

"We are going to take a couple days to look back at this and reflect on it, and to look back on our whole year," Holland said. "In the off season we'll work on our drills and improving our skill level, all the while finding a way to replace Brittani underneath."