02/17/11 — CB Aycock reaches ECC final

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CB Aycock reaches ECC final

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 17, 2011 1:47 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Play your game.

Dictate the tempo.

Charles B. Aycock head girls' basketball coach Laura Romo had to repeat those messages to her team at halftime Wednesday evening, and her team finally followed the script.

Frontcourt mates Imari Howell and Lauren Parrish combined for 12 second-half points, and the Golden Falcons turned back North Lenoir, 46-34, in semifinal-round play of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference girls' basketball tournament.

Top-seeded Aycock (17-5 overall) opposes third-seeded Triton, which upset South Johnston in overtime, in the championship game Friday. Tip-off is 6 p.m. in Pikeville.

The fourth-seeded Hawks (11-15) sat back in a 2-3 zone throughout the opening half and lulled the Golden Falcons into taking outside shots instead of attacking the basket. Aycock misfired on its first seven field goal attempts and trailed 16-12 after one quarter.

"We got lackadaisical with the ball instead of doing what we do well, which is push the ball and play more aggressive," said Romo. "We talked about it halftime that we can't play into their hands. We thought we had an advantage inside that we weren't taking advantage of in the first half, and we talked about that at halftime, too."

Aycock missed Ivy Hartzell, who sat out the game for disciplinary reasons. Howell and Parrish, who played through a third-quarter ankle injury, controlled the paint. Howell finished with a double-double -- 15 points, 13 rebounds. Parrish contributed eight points and eight rebounds.

"I was happy with Lauren, she stepped up and played really well," said Romo. "We taped up the ankle and told her to go at it, and she showed some real toughness."

The Golden Falcons led 34-25 after three quarters.

The playoff-bound Hawks climbed to within 38-31 on Tyra Spencer's offensive putback, but could get no closer. Aycock tallied eight straight points on free throws from Howell and Courtnei Gilbert, and baskets from Kendra Speight and Gilbert.

Kristen Davenport, saddled with foul trouble, scored North Lenoir's final basket -- a 3-pointer when the outcome had been decided. Davenport collected 14 points and has hit 19 consecutive free throws in the postseason. Teammate Deshona Cox chipped in nine points and 18 boards.