Little leads Eagles to semis

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AHOSKIE — Junior Ivey Little led the third-seeded Northeast Academy Lady Eagles to a first round Tarheel Independent Conference victory at Ridgecroft School here Tuesday evening.

Little’s game-high 19 points and a clawing pressure defense helped the Lady Eagles claim the 45-32 victory over the number six seed Albemarle Lady Colts.

The game opened with an Ashton Liverman basket for the Lady Eagles who then ran off 11 more unanswered points to take a13-0 lead with just under two minutes left in the quarter.

The period was highlighted by two steals by Little resulting in two layups for the Lady Eagle guard. The Lady Eagles’ pressing defense led to turnover after turnover as the Lady Colts had difficulty handling the defensive pressure.

The first period Lady Colts’ drought ended with a basket and free throw by senior Shannon Staples as the Lady Eagles claimed a 13-3 first period lead.

The second quarter saw the Lady Eagles continue to pressure the Lady Colts, but a three-pointer by Hanna Alexopoulos and a two by Staples cut the Lady Eagles’ lead to13-8 at the 5:09 mark.

A steal by Liverman – who dished to Ciara Pope for a layup – put the lead back at seven.  The Lady Eagles then went on a 10-3 run to close out the first half having built a 25-11 lead.

The third quarter saw the Lady Eagles go on an 11-3 run to begin the third quarter.  Again it was the Lady Eagles’ defense which provided the spark as steals and turnovers continued to hound the Lady Colts. The period closed with baskets by Ashley Ownley and Amber Stickle of the Lady Colts giving the Lady Eagles a 36-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter saw the Lady Colts attempt a comeback as Staples hit a three-pointer followed by a deuce to cut the Lady Eagles’ lead to 36-24.

But the comeback attempt was short lived as the teams swapped baskets for the remainder of the game as the Lady Eagles move on to play another game.

Little paced the Lady Eagles with 19 points, followed by nine from Kaylen Rose and eight from Liverman.

The Lady Colts were led by Amanda Lane’s 14 points and Staples’ nine.

The Lady Eagles will face the number two seed Lady Rams of Ridgecroft in semi-final action here on Friday evening.