NEA pulls upset

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2004

WILSON – There’s a reason Northeast Academy has become a regular in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association tourney.

Greenfield School learned first-hand what that was Tuesday night when the Lady Eagles, seeded 10th in the tournament, upset the Lady Knights 54-46.

Senior twins Shannon and Melissa Jenkins lit up the Lady Knights for 20 and 19 respectively in pacing Northeast to the second round.

The Lady Eagles built a 26-18 lead by the intermission, but Greenfield was able to draw within five (29-24) by the 5:10 mark of the third quarter.

S. Jenkins, however, owned the remainder of the period, hitting two field goals and burying three from the foul line. M. Jenkins added a pair of shots from the charity stripe to make it 38-24 by the end of the third period.

Greenfield’s Mandy Moore hit consecutive hoops to open the fourth quarter and get the lead back to 10 (38-28) and then, following an S. Jenkins bucket, rolled off six unanswered. Anna Gauss, Brittany Spencer and Paislei Suggs had the scores for the Lady Knights.

M. Jenkins buried two from the foul line before Suggs and S. Jenkins exchanged hoops to leave Northeast with a 44-36 advantage with only 2:37 to play.

The Lady Knights were able to get within five again in the fourth quarter, trailing 46-41 with 59 seconds to play, but Northeast was able to convert on 6-of-8 from the line over the final 54 seconds to preserve the upset victory. S. Jenkins, Rebecca Harrell and Laura Boone hit the important free throws and M. Jenkins added a bucket for good measure.

&uot;I’m really proud of the way we played after blowing a 10-point lead the other night,&uot; veteran coach Joella Brown said. &uot;It was on our minds and we held onto it tonight.

&uot;We stuck to our game plan and knew we had to shut down their guards,&uot; she added.

The coach also said she was happy with the crowd of Eagle-faithful that made the trip to Greenfield.

&uot;I was pleased with the crowd that came,&uot; she said. &uot;The team was really supportive of each other.&uot;

Northeast will meet the winner of second-seeded Gaston Day School and 15th ranked Wayne Christian School at 1 p.m. Thursday at Ravenscroft.

Lady Eagles (54)

Shannon Jenkins – 20, Melissa Jenkins – 19, Lyndal Brown – 5, Hillary Flythe – 4, Rebecca Harrell – 3, Laura Boone – 1

Lady Knights (46)

Anna Gauss – 14, Mandy Moore – 10, Paislei Suggs – 9, Sarah Peters – 9, Daidrea Hams – 2, Brittany Spencer – 2