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Timely scores from Burgess paces Eagles

LASKER – Sometimes it’s not how many you score, but when you score them.

Callie Burgess did lead Northeast Academy’s offensive attack Tuesday night with 15 points, but it was the key timing of six of those points that may have been the difference in the Eagles’ 58-45 win over Pungo Christian Academy.

While the Eagles had led most of the contest, Pungo rallied late in the third period and tied the contest at 33-all when Tess Smithwick hit a hoop and a free throw with 7:49 to play in the game.

Seconds later senior Betty Edwards went to the free throw line and hit both shots to give Northeast a two-point edge. It was then that Burgess took over the contest, scoring the next three hoops over a minute and a half to give Northeast the surge they would need.

After Burgess scored three consecutive hoops, LeAnn Barnes found the hoop for her only four points of the game to extend the Lady Eagles’ advantage back to double figures (45-33).

Jordan Dunbar finally stopped the run with a pair of free throws for the Lady Raiders, but Lacy Pfeiffer came back with a bucket for Northeast at the 3:32 mark of the final period.

While scoring points from the free throw line over the final three minutes, the visiting Raiders didn’t score from the floor until Smithwick hit her third three-pointer of the night with 1:07 to play. That closed the gap to 56-43, but was as close as the Raiders got.

“The girls gave a good, strong effort and really got the inside game going,” Lady Eagles’ coach Joella Brown said.

Northeast was led by Burgess with 15 points, but also got 14 from Edwards, 11 from Jennifer Sykes and 10 from Molly Hargrave. Smithwick led all scorers with 19 for the Lady Raiders.

Early in the game, Northeast took a 4-1 lead off consecutive hoops from Edwards, but Pungo rallied behind scores from Chelsea Mizelle and Brinkley Johnson to take a 6-5 lead.

The Lady Eagles again got timely hoops from Burgess, who scored the next two buckets to give Northeast a 9-6 lead going into the second quarter.

After Jody Rose hit from three-point range to tie the game, Northeast went on a 12-2 run to take control of the contest. Burgess started the spurt while Sykes had six points during the run and Edwards added four.

Smithwick stopped the run with a hoop at the 3:50 mark for Pungo and then Johnson scored three points to get the Raiders within seven (25-18) with 1:16 remaining in the first half.

Northeast eventually went into the intermission with a 29-20 lead thanks to a score from Pfeiffer and a pair of free throws by Hargrave.

Edwards and Hargrave opened the third quarter with back-to-back baskets for Northeast, but Dunbar, Smithwick and Kim Clayton scored for the Lady Raiders as they cut the lead to 33-30 heading into the final quarter.

Northeast will travel to Ridgecroft Friday night for another Tarheel Independent Conference contest.