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Lady Falcons defeat HCHS for league’s top spot

WINDSOR – Bertie High’s girl’s basketball team has dropped just two games this season: to 20th-ranked 4A South Central and 15th-ranked 1A Williamston Riverside.

Bertie’s Akyia King (#24) is defended on a lay-up by Hertford County’s Desiree Askew (#40). King scored 18 points as the Lady Falcons finished the regular season unbeaten to claim the top spot in tonight’s Northeastern Coastal Conference Tournament. photomedoc.com / Steven Ferguson

In conference they’re undefeated headed into tonight’s (Wednesday) Northeastern Coastal Conference Tournament in Ahoskie.

The Lady Falcons closed out the regular-season here Friday with a 58-45 win over rival Hertford County on Senior Night to cap the unbeaten mark in league play at 10-0 and scored their 21st win of the season in the process.

The game was tied three times in the first six minutes as the physical play led to a parade to the free-throw line. In fact, the two teams shot more successful foul shots (5-of-10) than field goals (4-of-12). Bertie led 7-6 after the first period with Dawaunti Combs scoring four of her team’s seven.

Bertie began to break it open in the second quarter with their patented pressure defense that led to turnovers. Akyia King – held to just a single point in quarter number-one found her jump shot in the second, dropping back-to- back three-point attempts while point-guard Combs continued her steady play as floor general. Leading by a point, 12-11, the Falcons went on a 13-0 run to create some space and gain a 25-11 advantage. Daysha Holloman broke the Falcons’ string with a jump shot; but Bertie scored seven of the next nine to carry a 32-15 lead into the locker-room at halftime.

Coming out of the break, Hertford County began whittling away at the Falcon lead. They were able to get their deficit down to 14 points thanks to scores by Desiree Askew, Ashley Jenkins, and Qua’Dajah Ruffin. But Bertie then went on an 11-to-2 run to double the score at 46-23.

But the Lady Bears still had plenty of fight left and went on a run of their own, outscoring Bertie 9-to-2 and trailed 48-32 headed to the fourth as Brianna Howard scored nine of her team-high 15 points in the last ten minutes of the contest.

Hertford County continued to rally in the final frame, matching the Falcons in scores, but still behind by 16. Then the Bears went on a 9-0 run, and with just under 2:50 to play, their deficit was seven points, 52-45. But Bertie slammed the door scoring the final six points of the game for the 13-point win.

The Bears (11-12, 7-3, NCC) claimed second-place and also a got bye until tonight. The number-one and number-two teams begin play at 4 p.m. at Hertford County High’s gym, with the second game following at around 5:30.

HERTFORD COUNTY GIRLS (45)

Briana Howard-15, Desiree Askew-8, Daysha Holloman-7, Qua’Dajah Ruffin-6, Bailey Brock-5, Ashley Jenkins-4.

BERTIE GIRLS (58)

Dawaunti Combs-20, Akyia King-18, Destiny Clark-8, Aleeyah Proctor-6, Jessica Stokes-4, Morgan Mazyck-2.