HOPE MILLS – Sophomore Sara Adams and freshman Sakayla Martin sparked a 23-8 second quarter spurt that propelled Union Pines to a 55-39 basketball victory over East Bladen in the semifinals of the Cumberland County Women’s Holiday Festival at Gray’s Creek.
Adams threw in a 3-point shot and 2 more baskets, and Martin added 3 baskets during the run. Junior Emma Ring tossed in 2 baskets as the Lady Vikings opened up a 34-16 halftime lead.
Sophomore Mya McDonald drained a 3-point shot, and senior Lorna Mendell dropped in a basket and a free throw to keep East Bladen within 11-8 at the first quarter break. Senior Patience Ward fired in all 4 Lady Eagle baskets in the second period.
Ward pumped in 2 more baskets and 2 free throws in the third quarter. Sophomore Alexus Mitchell sank 4 free throws, and McDonald bombed in another 3-ball. Ring netted 2 baskets in the period to keep the Union Pines lead at 44-29.
Ring hurled in a trio of baskets in the final quarter and led the Lady Vikings with 14 points. Adams followed with 13 points, teammate Kaley Evans made a trio of 3-point shots for 9 points, and Martin totaled 8 points.
Ward fired in a trio of baskets in the fourth quarter and topped all scorers with 24 points for East and had 5 rebounds. McDonald netted a pair of baskets in the final period and finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds. Mitchell contributed 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
It was the first loss of the season for East Bladen, now 9-1, and the Lady Eagles will face Jack Britt – a 59-55 loser to Garner Magnet – in Saturday’s third-place game at Gray’s Creek at 1:30 p.m.
East Bladen 8 8 13 10 – 39
Union Pines 11 23 10 11 – 55
EAST BLADEN (39) – Katie Evans, Lily Lin, Mya McDonald 10, Alexus Mitchell 4, AnnaGrey Heustess, Abbie Cross, Maegan Burney, Patience Ward 22, Sara Gargala, Lorna Mendell 3.
UNION PINES (55) – Emma Ring 14, Meagan McCaskill, Emily Bowbliss 7, Sakayla Martin 8, Kaley Evans 9, Sara Adams 13, Molly Schmitz 4.