Lady Falcons repeat
AHOSKIE – It was a game that was just out of reach.
Hertford County High School’s varsity girls battled four-time defending champion Bertie to the wire, but the Lady Falcons were able to keep the game just out of reach for the home team.
BHS converted five of six free throws in the waning minutes of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty and held off HCHS 68-61 to claim first place.
The Lady Falcons used balanced scoring, placing three in double figures, as they won the Classic title. Equalia Vines, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, led the way with 21 points followed by 13 points from Satora Swain and 12 from Laquetta Leary.
The Lady Bears counted with 29 points from All-Tournament selection Kenya Cofield and 10 from Ashley Fountain.
The contest was close through the entire game, especially in the first half. Bertie began to pull away as the second half opened.
Swain started the half with a field goal and was followed by a triple from Ticorian Dolberry. Swain and Vines each converted a free throw, the last of which gave Bertie a 31-21 lead with 6:25 to play in the third quarter.
After an exchange of hoops, the Lady Bears came back, getting consecutive buckets from Cofield and Raqueta Moore before Cofield hit two free throws and another hoop to trim the HCHS deficit to 33-31.
The Lady Falcons got back-to-back hoops from Yashanti Bridgers and Vines, but Cofield answered with four points of her own.
Vines hit two free throws and two hoops in the closing minutes of the quarter, answered by free throws from Cofield and Bardride Williams as the Lady Falcons held a 43-38 advantage heading into the final period.
The lead wavered from four to six until the Lady Bears went on a 7-2 run midway through the final period.
Rasheema Speller sparked the spurt with a free throw and a hoop and Cofield added a bucket and was fouled. Speller’s free throw with less than three minutes to play cut the deficit to one (53-52).
The dagger for the HCHS comeback was delivered moments later when Dolberry buried a triple that pushed the Bertie advantage back to four.
While Cofield was able to get the Bears back even on her hoops and free throw, Vines responded with four consecutive points and the Falcons hit their free throws to preserve the victory.
Early on the contest was close with the teams being tied four times in the opening nine minutes, including being deadlocked at 12-all at the end of the first period.
In addition to Vines’ MVP status, Bertie placed Swain, Leary and Shanelle Foster on the All-Tournament team. HCHS had Cofield and Moore on the All-Tournament squad.
Lady Falcons (68):
Equalia Vines n 21, Satora Swain n 13, Laquetta Leary n 12, T. Dolberry n 9, T. Brown n 6, Y. Bridgers n 4, S. Foster n 3
Lady Bears (61): Kenya Cofield n 29, Ashley Fountain n 10, R. Speller n 9, J. Hardy n 6, R. Moore n 4, B. Williams – 3