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Bladen County Girls Tournament: Elizabethtown 35, Clarkton School of Discovery 28

BLADENBORO – Laila Smith poured in 23 points to lead Elizabethtown to a 35-28 girls basketball victory over Clarkton School of Discovery Monday in the opening round of the Bladen County Tournament.

Iveonna Ward fired in 2 baskets and 2 free throws in the first quarter, and Laila Smith threw in 2 baskets as the Lady Cougars grabbed an early 10-4 lead. Shy’Asia Ratliff and Mialinni McDowell popped in baskets for the Lady Blue Devils.

Laila Smith tossed in 3 more baskets in the second period and Ward added a basket as the Elizabethtown lead grew to 18-8. Addie Bowen scored both of Clarkton’s baskets in the quarter.

Ratliff rallied the Lady Blue Devils with 3 baskets and a free throw in the third period. McDowell tallied a basket, and ShaNidra Richardson hit a free throw. Laila Smith drained a 3-point shot and 2 more baskets to keep Elizabethtown on top 25-18.

Laila Smith pumped in 3 baskets in the final quarter, and Ward tacked on 2 more baskets. Alaya White and Gabby Nealy kept Clarkton close with 2 baskets each in the final period, and Ratliff netted 2 free throws.

Ward followed Smith on the Lady Cougar scoring list with 12 points. Ratliff led the Lady Blue Devils with 11 points, and Bowen, White and Nealy finished with 4 points each.

Coach Cedric Owens’ Lady Cougars advance to Thursday’s championship game with a 2-0 record. It was the first loss of the season for the Lady Blue Devils who are now 2-1.

Clarkton              4     4   10   10  – 28
Elizabethtown    10    8    7    10  – 35

CSD (28) – Alaya White 4, Addie Bowen 4, Molly Evans, Shy’Asia Ratliff 11, Mialanni McDowell 4, Gabby Nealy 4, ShaNidra Richardson 1, Emmee Ward, Traveyuana Gaskins, Kaniyah Hairston, Cabria Baldwin, Brenna Hester, Zyeria Ripley.

Elizabethtown (35) – Laila Smith 23, Iveonna Ward 12, Zoe Smith, Ariel Cromartie, Shabrea Geather, Nia McKoy, Aniyah Thompson, Arelia Lewis, Hailey Bennett, Takyla Cowan, Emma Weddington, Niyah Wooten, Mary Sutton.

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