Playoff bound: Warrior girls hang on, pick up senior night win
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 13, 2009 1:46 PM
As the emotions of senior night ran rampant, poise and composure were nowhere to be found early on for Eastern Wayne.
With the game hanging in the balance late in the fourth quarter, the Warrior girls mustered up plenty of will and determination and hung on for a 48-45 win over Kinston on Thursday evening.
The victory ensured Eastern Wayne of a playoff spot.
The Warriors led the Vikings 40-30 with less than 51/2 minutes to play until Jasmine Baker's free throws sparked an 11-1 Kinston run and her 3-pointer tied the game at 41-41 with under two minutes remaining.
Shantae Boseman's putback gave Eastern Wayne a brief 43-41 lead before Marquell Powell drained a pair of game-tying free throws. Tiarra McIntyre's layup off Eboni Reid's assist put the Warriors back in front, but Caroline Debruhl's basket knotted the score at 45-45.
Lindsey Frederick sank two key free throws with 50 seconds left that put Eastern Wayne (8-13 overall) ahead for good at 47-45. Despite battling illness, Frederick finished with a game-high 18 points.
Haley Vermillion's attempt at a game-tying jumper hit the top of the backboard and went out of bounds. Eastern Wayne's Jazmine Middleton made only one of two free throws to extend the lead to 48-45 while leaving the door open for the Vikings.
Any chance of a late 3-pointer to force overtime was negated when Powell was whistled for traveling with 2 seconds to play.
"That's special for the seniors," said Holland. "The seniors will remember the night they went out on our court winners. We just gutted it up and pulled it out at the end."
Kinston led 12-3 after one quarter before the Warriors opened the second period on a 10-0 run while forcing the Vikings into 20 first half turnovers. Kinston (4-15) was outscored 32-13 during the second and third quarters.
"We started all seniors tonight and we had some point blank shots," said Holland. "I think they were just so hyped up and they wanted to do so well. We had two girls, Lindsey Frederick and Tiarra McIntyre, that are sick so we were battling Kinston and sickness. We finally got some easy baskets and got to score off our defense."
Along with a senior night win and clinching a playoff berth Holland also noticed a glimpse of maturity in a team that has struggled to maintain leads and close out ballgames.
"We would have lost that game earlier on in the season," said Holland. "We had a 10-point lead at Kinston earlier this year and lost. We lost at Jones Senior when we had a lead and we lost at home to Fike when we had a lead.
"Hopefully, we've gotten a little better and learned some things from those losses. We found a way to win and I'm happy."
Brittany Franklin scored eight points for Eastern Wayne and Reid added seven. Vermillion and Cookie Wingfield each finished with 10 points for the Vikings.
The Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament begins next week.
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