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North Brunswick 54, West Bladen 36

North Brunswick closed the third quarter with a 15-0 run that vaulted the Lady Scorpions to a 54-36 girls basketball victory over West Bladen Monday night in the East Bladen Holiday Classic.

The Lady Knights trailed 22-14 at halftime, but junior Alanna Ludlum stole the ball and passed ahead to junior Logan Autry for a lay-up. Autry then muscled in a bank shot thru traffic that pulled West Bladen to within 22-18 only a minute into the second half.

However Taylor Perkins sank 3 free throws and knocked down a pair of 3-point shots that sparked the Lady Scorpions to a 37-18 lead at the third quarter break.

Lady Knight junior Laikyn Pait drilled a corner jumper to begin final quarter, and freshman Erika McKoy stole the ball and raced for a lay-up. Pait turned a rebound into a 3-point play that sliced the North lead to 37-25.

After Perkins flipped in a runner, West junior Akira Grimes flipped in a short jumper then tacked on a free throw to trim the margin to 39-28 with 5:17remaining to play.

A pair of Perkins baskets capped a 6-0 North spurt that upped the count to 45-28. Pait bombed in a pair of 3-point shots and put back a rebound in the final 4 minutes, but North held on for the win.

Pait posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Knights. Junior Jerena Purdie worked the paint for all ten of West Bladen’s second quarter points. Purdie also recorded a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

A 3-point play by Pait highlighted West Bladen’s first quarter, but the Lady Knights trailed 10-4 at the quarter break. Purdie’s five baskets kept West within 22-14 at halftime. Autry finished with 5 points for the Lady Knights.

Despite the loss West Bladen Coach Rick Rhoda was optimistic, “This was one of the better games that we have played. We are getting things together.”

Perkins poured in a game-high 24 points for North Brunswick. Teammate Unique Hines added 12 points.

West Bladen, now 2-5, will play Whiteville tonight in the Holiday Classic at 5 p. m., while North Brunswick takes on East Bladen at 6:30.

West Bladen (36) – Alanna Ludlum, Kaylee Stevens, Erika McKoy 2, Patience Parker, Kassidy Anderson, Logan Autry 5, Laikyn Pait 16, Jenna Dove, Conner Brisson, Elizabeth Allbright, Akira Grimes 3, Jerena Purdie 10.

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