Lady Falcons collect 7th Classic title

Published 1:32 pm Saturday, January 2, 2010

AHOSKIE – A year ago Alice Lyons moved the championship cups from her home to Bertie High School.

Lyons, the veteran mentor of the BHS Lady Falcons, said she no longer had a place to keep the seven trophies she has collected over the past eight years.

That particular problem grew here Tuesday night when the Lady Falcons topped rival Hertford County High School 61-39 to earn their seventh straight championship at the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty.

“I’m so pleased with the tournament,” said Lyons. “The fans come out and support us and that makes the girls really excited to play each year. The support we get from our fans helps make us better.”

Montreshia Perry paced the Lady Falcons with 24 points during the afternoon while Ya’Shonti Bridgers had 13 points and 22 rebounds for the Lady Falcons, who won their eighth title in the past nine years.

The Lady Falcons got off to a fast start in the tourney finals, scoring the first eight points of the contest and leading 15-6 by the end of the first quarter.

Ayanna Wilson got things started with a three-pointer which was followed by a three-point play from Perry and a hoop by Bridgers to give Bertie an 8-0 lead.

Jaleesa Chinn stopped the spurt with a bucket midway through the quarter, but was answered by another Wilson hoop.

Briante Bond, who led Hertford County with 10 points, scored to close the gap to 10-4, but Perry got a free throw and a bucket that made it 13-4 before the teams exchanged hoops to end the quarter with the Lady Falcons holding a nine-point edge.

Bertie scored four of the first six points in the second quarter when Perry had a hoop and Bridgers scored twice from the charity stripe answered only by a Sherniece Futrell free throw.

The Lady Bears, then had three straight points coming from a Futrell free throw and a hoop by Chinn to close the gap to 19-11.

Bridgers then hit a hoop before Futrell had a free throw for the Lady Bears. Monica Outlaw and Perry then hit back-to-back three pointers for the Lady Bears and Eboni Bond added a bucket to help Bertie push ahead 29-12.

The Lady Bears got free throws from Camryn Jones and Deondra Morrison to stop the run, but Bertie came right back with Bond hitting a three-point play followed by a triple from Perry. Raven Wiggins then added a free throw and Perry another hoop as the Lady Falcons led 38-14.

Hertford County and Bertie exchanged hoops by Takia Williams and Perry respectively as the quarter closed helping the Lady Falcons head to the locker room with a 40-16 edge.

The teams exchanged scores over the opening minutes of the third quarter until Bond buried a triple and was followed by a Futrell hoop to get the Lady Bears within 45-26.

Perry stopped the run temporarily, but Hertford County came back with hoops from Bond and Jones to cut its deficit to 47-30.

Bertie responded with a pair of free throws from Bridgers and a bucket by Outlaw before Jones scored again leaving the Lady Falcons with a 51-32 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Lady Falcons sealed the victory early on in the fourth period when Bridgers hit a bucket and was followed by free throws from Bond and Perry as they extended their advantage to 58-32.

The Lady Bears got a hoop from Morrison and a three-pointer by Bond to close back within 21, but that was as close as it would get.

In addition to those in double figures, the Lady Falcons got nine from Wilson, eight from Bond, five from Outlaw and two from Wiggins. HCHS received nine from Futrell, seven from Jones, six from Chinn, five from Morrison and two from Williams.

“The girls played hard,” said first-year HCHS skipper Justin Frederes. “This will give us motivation to get better.”

Frederes said he and the Lady Bears, who were awarded the inaugural Richard W. Murray Sportsmanship Award at the tournament’s conclusion, appreciated the opportunity to play.

“We are very thankful to the sponsors and the tournament,” Frederes said. “We feel very honored to have won the sportsmanship award and we look forward to continuing to help in the community.”

The Lady Falcons, meanwhile, know they’ll have another year to celebrate their success as winners of the event.

After the event, Bridgers was named Most Valuable Player and the winner of the Cal Bryant Scholarship Award. Joining her on the All-Tournament Team from Bertie were Perry, Bond and Outlaw. Hertford County’s contributions were Jones and Bond. Rounding out the team were Vicki Wiggins of Gates County High School and Patrice Williams of Northampton County High School – East.