Northeastern three-peats as Holiday Classic champs

Published 8:45 am Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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AHOSKIE – How does a player respond to an MVP performance?

They repeat that effort.

For the second straight year, Jasmine Felton dominated the girls championship game of the annual News-Herald Holiday Classic and ensured that her Northeastern High School squad traveled back to Elizabeth City with the first place trophy in hand.

Felton’s 30-point performance here Friday night at the Hertford County High School gym highlighted a 59-41 win over Gates County in the title game and earned her the MVP trophy.

It marked the third straight year that the Northeastern girls have captured the Holiday Classic title. Felton had 33 points in the 2022 final (a 55-28 win over Hertford County).

In this year’s championship contest, Felton wasted little time in establishing her dominance.

With the game tied at 4-4 after two minutes of play, Felton scored 11 of the next 15 points, eight of which came on putbacks of four offensive rebounds, as the Lady Eagles built a 17-9 lead by the end of the opening quarter.

Gates County’s Semiyah Saunders scored the first hoop of the second period, allowing the Lady Barons to only trail by six (17-11). Unfortunately for Gates, that was their only offense of the period.

Felton reeled off three straight baskets followed by back-to-back treys from teammate Gabriella Furges. That outburst afforded Northeastern a 31-11 halftime lead.

That lead grew to 21 points (36-15) just past the midway mark of the third quarter before Gates County made a run. Sparked by a trio of baskets from Kyndall Banks and one each by London Barber and Camiya Riddick, the Lady Barons reeled off 10 unanswered points and closed the deficit to 36-25 with 2:13 left in the period.

Northeastern answered with an 11-2 run to close out the quarter. Azaria Gallop sparked that outburst by scoring two baskets and adding a solo free throw.

Fueled by a trio of Felton baskets and a three-pointer from Sanai Alexander, Northeastern used a 10-0 run to open the fourth quarter, allowing them to build a 30-point lead at 57-37.

But the Gates girls refused to surrender as Barber led a late surge by draining a three-pointer sandwich in between a pair of two-point baskets as the Lady Barons scored 14 of the game’s final 16 points.

Joining Felton on the All-Tournament team were Gallop, Furges, and Jada Simpson.

Banks, Barber, and Saunders were named to the All-Tournament team representing Gates County.


Lady Eagles (59)

Jasmine Felton – 30, Azaria Gallop – 8, Sanai Alexander – 7, Gabriella Furges – 6, Jada Simpson – 6, Ziayisha Jones – 2.


Lady Barons (41)

London Barber -12, Kyndall Banks – 10, Camiya Riddick – 6, Semiyah Saunders – 6, Zebriya Woodley – 4, Semayia Cross – 3.

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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