Howard’s clutch treys rally Lady Bears past Edenton-Holmes
Published 11:44 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023
AHOSKIE – When Hertford County needed a big lift, one of its smallest players stepped up.
Junior guard Sophie Howard drained back-to-back three-pointers, erasing a six-point deficit in the middle of the third quarter, and the Lady Bears went on to defeat Edenton-Holmes, 48-40, here Tuesday night in the opening round of the NCHSAA Class 2A State Playoffs.
HCHS, who improved to 17-8 overall, now advances to the second round where they will travel to meet North Pitt (24-2) at 6 pm on Thursday.
Trailing 31-25 after Edenton opened the second half on a 6-0 run fueled by a pair of baskets from Liza Bond, HCHS seemed out of sorts. They had missed their first six shots of the third period and turned the ball over twice.
Howard’s clutch shooting came at just the right moment. Her first three-pointer, from the top of the key, ricocheted off the rim, hit the backboard, and into the basket. One minute later, Howard found the bottom of the net on a trey from the right wing, tying the contest at 31-31.
The Lady Bears never trailed again.
Adarielle Townsell closed the third quarter by sinking two free throws and adding a basket as HCHS took a 35-33 lead into the final period.
Bond’s basket 90 seconds into the fourth quarter tied the game at 35-all, but the Lady Aces wouldn’t score again until nearly four minutes later.
Townsell’s basket at the 5:20 mark gave Hertford County the lead for-keeps at 37-35. The Lady Bears struggled offensively as well during that same stretch, but did manage to pad their lead to 40-35 thanks to one free throw from Townsell and a pair of charity tosses by Karae Alfred.
Edenton got as close as 41-39 with 2:08 left thanks to Bond knocking down two free throws and one basket on consecutive possessions.
The Lady Bears secured the win from the free throw line where Jaliyah Mitchell connected on four of six charity tosses over the game’s final 94 seconds. And, to add icing on the cake, Howard nailed one final three-pointer from the right wing with 28 seconds left.
Trailing 13-11 early in the second quarter, HCHS rallied with an 8-0 run to grab a 19-13 lead. Mitchell started and ended that offensive surge with baskets sandwiched around Tamia Britt grabbing a defensive rebound and dribbling the length of the court for a lay-up, and a bucket by Alfred off an Edenton turnover.
The Lady Aces rallied to score 10 of the game’s next 12 points, capped by Ellie Spear’s three-pointer that handed the visitors a 23-21 lead.
Britt answered for HCHS, sinking two free throws and adding a basket with six seconds left before halftime that ended in a 25-25 stalemate.
Lady Bears (48)
Jaliyah Mitchell – 20, Adarielle Townsell – 9, Sophie Howard – 9, Tamia Britt – 6, Karae Alfred – 4
Lady Aces (40)
Chloe Chappell – 15, Liza Bond – 14, Ellie Spear – 5, Kate Foster – 4, Mariah Miller – 2.