NEA jv girls ride strong 2nd half effort

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, December 6, 2016

AHOSKIE – Joella Brown spoke; her players responded.

Trailing by two (13-11) at halftime, Brown’s baby Eagles of Northeast Academy went on an offensive tear in the second half while turning up the defensive pressure en route to a 34-18 win over Lawrence Academy here Saturday afternoon in the junior varsity girls championship game of the 11th annual Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Basketball Tournament held at Ridgecoft School.

Brown’s halftime chat with her girls worked to perfection as the Lady Eagles came out of the locker room and immediately took command of the game.

Led by Olivia Wheeler, who scored all eight of her game points during that pivotal third quarter, Northeast reeled off 16 unanswered points over that six-minute stretch and grabbed a 27-13 lead in the process.

Following a Wheeler basket and a pair of Carly Stephenson free throws to open the third period, eight of game’s next 10 points came courtesy of NEA’s stingy defense. Stephenson jumpstarted that effort with a steal and lay-up followed by a Lawrence miss on the offensive end that produced another basket from Wheeler.

Wheeler followed with two additional baskets, the first set-up by a Lawrence turnover followed by her steal and lay-up.

Another turnover by Lawrence led to a basket by Jessie Martin. Stephenson added another basket with 12 seconds left in the quarter that extended the Northeast lead to 27-13.

Lawrence’s first points of the second half did not come until the 4:40 mark of the fourth quarter when Joyner Rascoe swished through a pair of free throws. The only field goal by the Lady Warriors came when Hailey Barnes scored off an offensive rebound with 25 seconds left in the game.

For good measure, Savannah Martin came off the Northeast bench late in the game and drained a three-pointer to finish off the 34-18 rout.

The first half was a much different tale.

Despite pounding the ball inside and using their height advantage, the Lady Eagles were ice cold from the field.

Meanwhile, Lawrence was methodical in its attack, using the steady play of Rascoe. She connected on a short jumper along the baseline followed by a 15-footer over the final 45 seconds of the first quarter where Lawrence led 7-4.

That lead increased to 13-6 when Rascoe buried a three-pointer from the right wing with 1:29 left until halftime.

Northeast did manage to gain a bit of momentum over the final moments of the first half where Stephenson scored five of her game-high 13 points.


NEA jv girls (34)

Carly Stephenson – 13, Olivia Wheeler – 8, Jessie Martin – 6, Savannah Martin – 3, Emalee Jones – 2, Allie Liverman – 2


LAW jv girls (18)

Joyner Rascoe – 12, Hailey Barnes – 2, Hailey Gardner – 2, Madison Bass – 1, Lindsay Smith – 1

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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