Lady Falcons garner title game

Published 5:51 pm Monday, January 3, 2011

AHOSKIE – Meltdown.

Like the post-Christmas snow that plagued the area last week, then vanished in an early-winter warm spell.

That seemed to sum up Bertie High’s girl’s basketball team’s opening round win on day-one of the 2010 Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic, 58-36, over Northampton-East.

Coach Alice Lyons’ team – seeking their ninth title in 10 tries, and eighth in a row – simply wore down the Lady Rams en route to their seventh win of the year.

Ironically, Lyons left much of the game-one coaching duties to Lady Falcons assistant, Joan McCullough, who coached the winning Hertford County High 2002 tournament squad that broke the Bertie win streak in this event.

Montreshia Perry and Ayanna Wilson led the Bertie attack as the only players in double figures with 18 points each while Wilson also took rebounding honors by collecting eight caroms. Tyessence Morris had six rebounds while Zakkeya Morris had seven points.

Patrice Williams paced the Lady Rams with 16 points while Jomecka Deloatch and Brittany Majette had six apiece.

“We really turned up our defensive intensity in the second quarter,” said McCullough.  “That’s because we talked more on defense and did a good job of stopping number-22 (Williams), and we shut her down in the third.”

The Lady Falcons blazed out to a 10-5 lead after the first quarter and then made like the post-Christmas ‘Grinch’ in the second.  Perry did most of the damage with 14 points in that frame; at one point scoring eight in a row with everything from jump shots on the wing to power-moves underneath the basket.

With the score 21-8 in Bertie’s favor, the Lady Falcons went on a 9-2 run getting seven of those points off turnovers thanks to their pressure defense and capped by a Wilson steal and layup to make Bertie’s lead, 30-10.

Northampton broke it’s scoring drought with  jumpers from Williams and Alexis Shoulders.  In fact, Williams scored the Lady Rams’ final six points of the half and left them trailing at the break, 34-18.

The Lady Rams reduced their deficit to a dozen by scoring the first four points of the third quarter.

Then Wilson went to work for Bertie.

First she hit back-to-back-to-back jump shots on the wing and re-upped Bertie’s lead to 18.  She them capped that scoring barrage by draining a long three-pointer to make it 43-22 before Lady Rams coach Rick Heckler called a time-out to cool her off.

East could have cut into their deficit at the free-throw line, but they missed 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.  The Bertie lead grew to 22 points before East’s Dejenique Daye nailed a high, arcing three-pointer with under a minute in the quarter.

Bertie got two free throws and Majette scored on a follow jumper in the paint leaving the score 47-26 entering the last quarter.

The final eight minutes were played pretty evenly as Bertie rested it’s starters in anticipation of the Friday night championship game.

The Lady Falcons only outscored the East ladies, 11-10, with all 10 of the Lady Rams points coming from Williams after she had gone scoreless in the third quarter.

“I’m just happy for another shot at the title,” said a smiling Lyons after the horn sounded.

“They hustled hard,” said East coach Heckler of his team’s effort. “They gave me everything I asked of them.”

“We’ve been improving and we’re playing better,” he added.  “Another game would’ve been nice.”