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Southern Wayne’s Ty’Lisha Maye (11) and O’shaniya Melvin (34) reach for the basketball during their season opening loss against North Lenoir.

Respect your opponent.

Play every possession.

Win the third quarter.

Southern Wayne respected North Lenoir, but lost the possession Battle and third quarter during their season opening 52-32 loss to the Hawks Monday.

The Saints (0-1 overall) will now travel to LaGrange to play North Lenoir again next Monday.

“I thought we didn’t play our best,” said Southern Wayne head coach Ricky Lofton, whose team was down 14-6 after one quarter of action.

“We played a lot better in the second half. In the third and fourth quarter, the group of girls I had in there played a lot better. I was pleased with that to a certain extent.”

The Saints were down 31-13 at halftime.

Lofton wanted to see his team fight in the second half to erase the double-digit deficit.

They did. Southern Wayne converted three quick possessions in transition and cut the lead down to 31-19 three minutes into the second half, but the Hawks remained composed and pushed lead to 42-21 after three periods.

“North Lenoir is really a good team, but we couldn’t make threes or make a basket, and North Lenoir did.” Lofton said. “I think they just broke our back tonight.”

North Lenoir stayed hot in the fourth quarter and won 52-39.

“We’re young team and going forward we’re going to get better and better,” Lofton said. “We didn’t play up to our potential tonight, but as time goes on that’s going to change.

“We just have to make sure we don’t go and quit each other.”

Ty’Lisha Maye led the Saints with 11 points. Samiya Bess was close behind with nine points and seven rebounds. Erykah Baldwin scored six points and nine rebounds, while D’Mia Wright scored five points.