PCHS reaches finals

Published 10:19 am Friday, December 28, 2012

AHOSKIE – No repeat.

The last time Pasquotank County High and Hertford County High girls basketball teams met in the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty, it was the Lady Bears claiming the title

HCHS did it a year ago with a 63-54 win.

This year they met in Thursday’s second round, but it would be the Panthers and not the home team claiming victory, 46-34.

Hertford County stumbled out of the gate, badly, and never recovered. Trailing by nine after one quarter, by 17 after two, the Lady Bears’ fourth quarter comeback came up short.

Most of that was thanks to the Pasquotank front court tandem of sisters, Chelsey Elliot and Brianna Elliot, who accounted for 22 Lady Panther points and, more importantly, 16 rebounds.

Mikera Jordan added 13 more points for Pasquotank while Hertford County’s Brandi Burden led all scorers with 18 points, 15 of those coming during that furious rally in the second half.

“We didn’t have that fire,” said first-year HCHS coach Sha’Teisa Sharpe, shaking her head from side-to-side.  “We came out sluggish tonight and to win our next game we’ll have to play from start-to-finish.

“They (the Elliot sisters) are very good (low) post players,” she added. “And not many teams in this league have two post players.”

“They play very well together,” said Pasquotank coach Janie Cofield. “They feed off of each other and I think that’s good for us.”

Perhaps it was a precursor of the night to come when the game began and Brianna hit her first shot, a short jumper from about 10 feet out.  HCHS answered with a Burden free throw to trail by one before another short jumper from Jordan made it 4-1, Panthers.

Dyani Hall came down and drained one just short of the free throw circle to get the Lady Bears back within one, but that was as close as the home team would come the rest of the night.

Pasquotank scored the next eight in a row to close out the quarter ahead, 12-3.  Hertford County couldn’t work the ball into the low post and the Bears couldn’t connect on their field goals on the perimeter.

Both teams played lethargic in the second quarter, unable to establish a run. After Pasquotank doubled the score at 22-11 they then began to get things to click offensively.

The Panthers reeled off the final six points in a row to lead it 28-11 at the break; and holding the normally hot-shooting Burden to just three points for the half. Meanwhile, Jordan and Chelsey Elliot had put up ten apiece for the visitors.

Hertford County came out sluggish in the third quarter; not making a field goal until the 3:41 mark, when they trained by 18 at 31-13.

But that last basket was by Burden, who awoke to take the game into her hands and scored Hertford County’s next seven points in a row. The Bears won the quarter, 9-8.

The fourth was another quarter and another slow start for the Lady Bears. Kyana Rodgers got a basket a 1:15 in to make it, 36-22, Pasquotank.

Meanwhile, Jordan and Brianna relit Pasquotank’s fire with their inside-outside game and the Panthers reeled off six in a row to claim their largest lead of the night at 20, 42-22.

After a Hertford County timeout, things did begin to click for the Bears, but it didn’t come in time.  Burden got seven of her team’s final 11 points with Hall and Vanessa Mitchell getting the final four.

The late run upped the final to a more respectable dozen-point loss.

Pasquotank (9-0) next meets Bertie in tonight’s girls championship.  PHS has already claimed a win over the Falcons earlier this month in conference play.  Meanwhile, Hertford County played in Friday’s consolation game.