Bertie wins Sectional

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 1, 2004

WINDSOR – A narrow escape.

Bertie survived a late onslaught by Wilson’s E.T. Beddingfield High School and claimed the Sectional Championship by a count of 53-47.

The Lady Falcons led by as much as 23 (42-19) in the second half, but had to withstand a 17-2 run in the closing part of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth.

Bertie, however, converted on 7-of-12 free throws over the closing two minutes of the contest to preserve the win without leading scorer Jessica Breland on the floor. The sophomore had fouled out with 4:03 to play in the contest.

&uot;We made some big free throws at the end,&uot; varsity skipper Alice Lyons-Bennett said. &uot;Now they know they can play without their leading scorer.&uot;

Bertie built their lead in the early part of the second quarter when, after rallying back from a 14-13 deficit, they rolled off 11 unanswered to start the period.

Breland hit two of the hoops while Ashley Berryman added a field goal. Tierra Perry closed out the spurt with a bucket and two free throws to give the Lady Falcons a 24-14 advantage.

After Jacobia Lucas stopped the streak with a hoop at the 4:00 minute mark, Bertie hit six straight to go up 30-16. Temika Rascoe, Breland and Berryman had scores during the run.

Beddingfield, however, closed the first half with a bucket from Kiara Simms and a free throw by Latroya Pope to get within 11 (30-19).

The Lady Falcons extended their lead to 23 by scoring the first 12 points of the second half.

Breland hit for eight of the 12 while Berryman added the other two hoops, putting Bertie up 42-19.

October Harris started the spurt that got the Lady Bruins back in the contest with her hoop at the two-minute mark of the third quarter.

Beddingfield scored the next 10 points before Berryman stopped the spurt with a hoop at the 5:23 mark of the fourth.

The Lady Bruins finally got within three (48-45) with 1:08 to play, but never got any closer.

Ashley Speller hit two at the line before Perry converted on 2-of-4 from the charity stripe to give Bertie a 52-45 advantage with 21 seconds to play.

Pope had a bucket to get Beddingfield back within five (52-47) but Jasmine Tuff sealed the victory with a free throw.

&uot;At the beginning of the second quarter, we switched to a zone because they were breaking our press,&uot; Bennett said. &uot;We are happy to be playing in the regionals.&uot;

The victory boosts Bertie to 20-5 on the season. They will play at 7 p.m. Thursday at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville. There they will meet Southern High School from Durham in the Regional semi-finals.

Lady Falcons (53)

Ashley Berryman – 17, Jessica Breland – 16, Tierra Perry – 7, Temika Rascoe – 5, Ashley Speller – 4, Courtney Ransome – 2, Jasmine Tuff – 2

Lady Bruins (47)

October Harris – 13, Jacobia Lucas – 11, Latroya Pope – 11, Jessica Johnson – 4, Kiara Simms – 4, Essie Farmer – 2, Shannon Newby – 2