Rocky Mount tops Lawrence ladies

Published 10:15 am Monday, January 11, 2010

MERRY HILL – The Lawrence Academy girls basketball team saw their four game win streak snapped Wednesday night as the Lady Warriors fell to Rocky Mount Academy, 38-20.

The Lady Rams, who had not lost since falling to Rocky Mount back in December, got six points each from Casey Belch and Ashton Lyle, three from Ashtyn Mizzelle and two each from Taylor Sexton and Kendall Spruill. Megan Sherin led Rocky Mount with 10.

“Turnovers were limited in the first half, or at least they weren’t made at the wrong time” said coach Jack Williford, “but that’s really what got us in the second half.

“We were playing with some girls who’ve got flu-like symptoms,” he added, “and after that win (at Terra Ceia) last night they were tired and some were sick, but I won’t make excuses because Rocky Mount’s a good team.”

Lawrence started out well, scoring seven points in the first quarter for a 7-4 lead as Rocky Mount had trouble finding its shooting touch.

But the Lady Eagles recovered in a big way in the second quarter, putting up 12 points, including six from Rebekah Brown, while holding Lawrence to just six points for the entire eight minutes. Rocky Mount led 16-13 at the break.

In the third quarter Rocky Mount opened with pressure defense causing a slew of Lawrence turnovers. While the visitors fashioned a 12-0 run Lawrence’s fatigue showed as some of the Warrior turnovers the Lady Eagles were able to convert into fast-break points.

The Lady Warriors avoided being shutout for the frame when Belch was fouled on a three-point shot at the buzzer and sank two of the free throws to pull Lawrence within 13 at 28-15.

In the fourth quarter Rocky Mount looked to step it up with their inside game, forcing Lawrence to foul and sending the Lady Eagles to the free throw line but they only made 2-of-6, so the home team still had a chance.

But the comeback never materialized for the Lady Warriors as they managed just a pair of jump shots and a free throw. Still, Lawrence fought bitterly through their illness to remain competitive despite their offensive woes.

Rocky Mount closed it out with the 18-point win and the victory gave them two of the three games between the two rivals this season.

“I’m sure back-to-back games made a difference for his kids,” said Eagles coach Ronnie Beddingfield. “This was our first game back after a 14-day layoff and it showed in the first quarter.

“It took us two and a half quarters to finally get any rhythm,” he added, “but once we put pressure on them, caused turnovers and started running a little bit we got back into it. We’re just glad to get back to playing after the long holiday break.”

“They’re a step up (2A vs 1A) on us,” said Williford, “and it was a good warm-up for Hobgood coming up on Friday night.