Published 9:31 am Tuesday, February 25, 2014

ELIZABETH CITY – Revenge, served hot or cold, is always sweet.

A season ago Pasquotank High knocked off Bertie in the girl’s championship game of the Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament at Elizabeth City State University’s R.L. Vaughan Center.

Friday night, the two old rivals and combatants were back in town, this time at Northeastern High School.

Different venue, different result.

Behind a double-double performance from De’Najah Porter – 15 points and 21 rebounds – plus a dozen more points chipped in from Shaunquisha Leary, Bertie walloped the Lady Panthers, 45-27.

Jomiya Earley had 8 for Bertie with 6 from Carlisa Spivey and 4 from Tyessence Martin.

Mikeara Jordan led all scorers with 20 points for Pasquotank, which had won 12 of its last 13 games including a 50-47 win over Bertie, the only blemish on the Lady Falcons’ record all year (23-1).

“I have to say a special congratulation to the team for being the 2013-2014 regular season champs and the 2013-2014 NCC champions for winning the tournament,” said Bertie coach Alice Lyons, who was also named as league Coach of the Year. “Thank you to the Bertie fans for all your support showed to the Bertie Lady Falcons this year.”

Based on the results of the last game, this one was expected to be close.

It wasn’t.

Bryana Williams opened the game with a three-pointer for Pasquotank, and that was her only points and the Lady Panthers’ only lead of the game.

Martin scored in the low post for Bertie followed by Earley with a free throw and the game was tied for the first of two times on the night. Trailing 5-3, Bertie exploded for 11 straight and a 14-5 lead with Porter accounting for six of those points during the run. Jordan swished a jumper just before the horn and Bertie led, 14-7 after the first quarter.

Jordan sank a pair of free throws and then rained in a three-pointer to get the Panthers within two, 14-12, before Leary got two big buckets in the paint. Bertie stretched its lead to seven points twice in the frame, the last time just before the buzzer at 22-15, which is what the scoreboard read when the two teams headed to the locker-room for half-time.

Already in a hole, Pasquotank didn’t get stops early in the third quarter allowing Bertie to extend its lead to ten points and beyond. Though Bertie had normally been a fast-break team all season, Leary’s domination in the low post proved to be the difference-maker in this contest. Leary and Porter ignited a late 6-point run for the Falcons, giving Bertie a 14-point lead, 34-20, after three quarters.

Jordan scored two quick buckets on jump shots to open the fourth quarter, but that merely got the Panthers within ten, 34-24. Earley, who had been silent for the first three quarters of play, suddenly stepped up her game with all eight of her scores coming in the final frame.  After Jordan drained a trey Bertie scored the final eight points of the game – five by Earley, including four straight foul shots – to post the 18-point win.

As conference champions Bertie earned a number-three seeding in the state playoffs, which began Monday night. The Falcons hosted Dixon High from Onslow County.  Pasquotank also had a home game as they hosted Providence Grove of Alamance County.