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Lady Falcons easily top Currituck

WINDSOR – It was a great way to start the 2009.

After closing out 2008 with a pair of holiday basketball championships, the Bertie High girl’s basketball team opened the new year with a 62-24 Northeastern Coastal Conference win over Currituck Tuesday night.

And coach Alice Lyons was especially pleased that her non-starters stepped up big.

“I tried something new tonight,” said Lyons with a sly smile after the game. “I tried to see if my starters could help me out in the long run: my ‘bench starters.’ I rewarded them because they worked hard during the break and they deserved it.”

After the usual Lady Falcon starters ran out to a 14-2 lead after the first quarter Lyons sent in a whole new five players to begin the second period and they did not disappoint her.

“We had some different people stepping up tonight,” she added, “and that’s a big plus for down the road. I’m not trying to overlook anybody, but I am trying to start making preparations for the playoffs.”

Devona Bond led the ‘bench-starters’ with 11 points; tying for top scoring honors on the night with teammate, Equalia Vines, who also had nine rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

The trio of Ayanna Wilson, Montresha Perry, and YaShonti Bridgers had nine apiece, with Bridgers collecting 11 rebounds, and Tiera Brown finished with eight points, mostly on fast-break lay-ups in transition.

Chalissie Robinson and Ashley Basnight led Currituck with six points each.

After Bertie opened up the dozen-point lead, thanks to a pair of arcing three-point baskets from Bond, Currituck fought back and got within six points at 20-14.

But thanks to the Lady Falcons’ pressure defense Bertie soon ballooned the lead back up to double-figures and sailed comfortably into the locker-room at halftime leading 37-16.

With the regular starters reinserted for the start of the second half, Bertie made the third quarter almost identical to the first, outscoring the Lady Knights, 12-4, again thanks to their swarming defense that forced numerous miscues from Currituck and the lead was nearly 30 points entering the final frame, 49-20, Bertie.

Then, with the lead well in hand, Lyons continued to play her starters until the four minute mark when she began wholesale substitution and cleared her bench, with every player getting a chance to contribute.

“I wasn’t trying to be funny,” said Lyons, defending the move, “I was trying to get the girls to work on some different plays we’ve been trying in practice.

“It was a good conference win for us,” she concluded, “especially against another 3-A school. (This win) is showing me who I can depend on down the road, and by that time they should be ready to go.”