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Bladen County Middle School Girls Tournament Bladenboro 43, Elizabethtown 29

TAR HEEL – MaKayla Wright fired in 14 points to lead Bladenboro to a 43-29 victory over Elizabethtown Monday in the opening round of the Bladen County Middle School Girls Tournament.

Wright dropped in 2 baskets and a free throw, and Rylee Chadwick popped in a pair of baskets as the Lady Bulldogs built a 9-4 first quarter lead. Iveonna Ward and Lainey Hughes tossed in baskets for the Lady Cougars.

Whitney McLean pumped in a pair of second quarter baskets, Mallory Bryan drilled in a 3-point shot, and Lainey Autry flipped in a basket for a 20-14 halftime lead.

Ward bombed in a pair of 3-point shots, and Zoe Smith and Laila Smith netted baskets for Elizabethtown in the second quarter.  Laila Smith buried a 3-point shot and another basket in the third period, and Ward and Zoe Smith added baskets.

Chadwick drained a 3-point shot, Autry and McLean threw in baskets, and Bryan made 2 free throws to keep the Lady Bulldogs up 29-23 at the third quarter break.

Wright worked inside for 2 baskets and 3 free throws during a 14-6 Bladenboro spurt in the final quarter. Autry drove for a lay-up and a free throw, and Chadwick and Bryan sank 2 free throws each.

Laila Smith delivered a trio of baskets in the fourth quarter and led the Elizabethtown scoring with 13 points. Ward followed with 10 points, and Zoe Smith tallied 4 points.

Chadwick followed Wright on the Lady Bulldog scoring list with 9 points. Autry contributed 7 points, Bryan tallied 7 points, and McLean totaled 6 points.

Coach Joey Autry’s Lady Bulldogs improved to 3-2 and will play Clarkton School of Discovery in Thursday’s girls championship game at 4 p.m.

It was the first loss of the season for Elizabethtown, now 4-1. The Lady Cougars will play at Clarkton on Jan. 24th.

Elizabethtown      4     10     9      6   – 29
Bladenboro          9     11     9     14  – 43

E’town (29) – Lainey Hughes 2, Iveonna Ward 10, Zoe Smith 4, Calise Jackson, La’Toshia Melvin, Brianna Phillips, Laila Smith 13, Aniya Thompson, Amari Richardson.

Bladenboro (43) –Lainey Autry 7, Rylee Chadwick 9, MaKayla Wright 14, Kelsey Williams, Whitney McLean 6, McKenzie Singletary, Megan Pait, Mallory Bryan 7, Holland Davis, Marly Crabtree.

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