East Bladen’s Lady Eagles, the No. 13 seed in the East, will travel to top-seeded St. Pauls Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game that is Round 4 in more ways than one.
The game will not only be a 4th round playoff game but will be the 4th meeting this season between Coach Patty Evers’ Lady Eagles (26-3) and the top-seeded St. Pauls squad (26-1). St. Pauls has won the 1st three. The Lady Bulldogs lone loss this season was to Class 4A Purnell Swett 66-57 in the Robeson County Shootout.
Seniors Alexus Mitchell and Maya McDonald combined for 47 points in East Bladen’s 71-62 3rd round victory Saturday at North Lenoir. Mitchell racked up 26 points, sank 13 of 14 free throws and fired in a trio of 3-point shots.
McDonald posted a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds and was credited with 7 steals. Her huge 3-point basket early in the final period ignited a 13-3 clinching run for the Lady Eagles.
Junior AnnaGrey Heustess, freshman Iveonna “NeNe” Ward and junior Maegan Burney scored 8 points each in the North Lenoir win. Heustess and Ward fired in two 3-point baskets each as the Lady Eagles made eight 3-pointers in the game.
McDonald keys the East Bladen attack averaging 13 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals per game. Mitchell contributes 11.4 ppg. Burney scores at a 9.6 ppg rate. Ward, Heustess and freshman Laila Smith all average 7 ppg. Ward leads the team in steals per game (4.7).
Six-foot senior Tamyra Council leads St. Pauls in rebounds (11.1) and blocks (3.3) per game. She also scores 11.6 ppg. Her 6-foot twin sister, Taliya Council, averages 12.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game.
Junior Jakieya Thompson leads the team in scoring (14.8), steals (6.9) and assists (8.5). Sophomore Jashontae Harris adds 11.7 ppg, and junior Au.Nyah Teague, a transfer who averaged 11 points and 9 rebounds for Trinity Christian last season, rounds out the starting five averaging 7.6 ppg this year.
The winner of Tuesday night’s game will play the winner of the Farmville Central/Roanoke Rapids semifinal in Saturday’s Eastern Regional championship game.