02/15/11 — SW-N. Lenoir girls

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SW-N. Lenoir girls

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 15, 2011 1:47 PM

LaGRANGE -- Southern Wayne had its chances to play spoiler in the opening round of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference girls' basketball tournament Monday evening.

North Lenoir foiled the upset bid.

Kristen Davenport and Deshona Cox each logged a double-double, and the playoff-bound Hawks eliminated the Saints, 62-57, inside Wooten Gymnasium. North Lenoir (11-14 overall) continues tournament play Wednesday at regular-season champion Charles B. Aycock.

Davenport poured in 22 points, including a career-best 16 of 16 performance at the free throw line, and pulled down 10 rebounds. Cox provided 22 points and 19 rebounds.

The Hawks hit 30 of 43 free throws for the game.

"Free throws, little turnovers," said Southern Wayne head coach Ricky Lofton. "We certainly had our chances."

The fifth-seeded Saints (6-14) missed eight free throws in the final period, and shot 9 of 23 for the game. Danielle Carlton and Jane Hamilton led Southern Wayne's offense with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Carlton buried three second-half 3-pointers to help Southern Wayne peck away at a double-digit deficit. Her 3-pointer and Hamilton's free throw closed the gap to 48-47 with 4:45 remaining in regulation.

The Saints misfired on their next two possessions to take the lead.

Hawks guards Breyuana Kittrell and Ta'Breia Foster picked Southern Wayne for back-to-back steals, and got the ball in Davenport's hands. Davenport converted 10 consecutive free throws during a 12-5 run that all but sealed the outcome.

"We just made bad passes to the post girl, she fumbled it and they got ball back, went up again," said Lofton. "That was a big difference, too."

Dikeya Cox's offensive putback and a Kanesha Jones free throw made it a one-possession game with 20.1 seconds to go. Davenport finished the scoring with two free throws at the 13.8-second mark.

North Lenoir made just 14 field goals, including seven by Deshona Cox.

"I'm really proud of them," said first-year Hawks coach John Pyle. "Southern Wayne played hard, knew this was do-or-die and I give a ton of credit to them because they played with their hearts.

"Our girls kept their composure, got the ball to the people who should have had the ball in their hands and that's what won the game right there."