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Girls Basketball: East Bladen 47, East Columbus 21

LAKE WACCAMAW – East Bladen’s pressure defense keyed a 17-0 second-quarter blitz that propelled the Lady Eagles to a 47-21 Three Rivers Conference girls basketball victory over East Columbus Friday night.

Coach Patty Evers’ Lady Eagles clinched second place in the TRC with the victory as they improved to 13-2 in the TRC and 19-4 overall. East Bladen will close out the regular season Friday night when they host West Bladen.

Junior Katie Evans banked in a 16-footer to start the game, sophmore Alexus Mitchell canned a free throw, and senior Patience Ward converted assists from Mitchell and sophmore Mya McDonald into lay-ups for an early 7-2 Lady Eagle lead.

Ward popped in a 6-footer, and McDonald, Mitchell and Ward added free throws as East Bladen built a 12-6 first quarter lead.

Mitchell sank 2 free throws to begin the second period, before a pair of lay-ups by Aziya Barr rallied the Lady Gators to within 14-10. East Bladen then reeled off the game’s next 17 points.

Ward pumped in 2 free throws, and senior Abbie Cross nailed a 15-footer and 2 free throws. Mitchell buried a pair of 3-point shots, and Ward hit another free throw. McDonald turned a Ward assist into a lay-up then powered in a follow shot for a 31-10 halftime lead.

“We had to press to get some energy,” said Evers. “No practice yesterday (because of the storm) was a factor. We don’t do well with a day off.”

Ward connected from 12 feet to open the second half then drilled in a 3-ball from the corner. McDonald delivered 3 straight assists – one to Mitchell and two to Ward – all resulted in lay-ups as the margin swelled to 42-14. A G.G. Bellamy 3-ball pulled the Lady Gators to within 42-19 at the third quarter break.

Freshman AnnaGrey Heustess dropped in a lay-up off of a feed from junior Sara Gargala, Mitchell hit a free throw and Aaniyah Jackson muscled in a follow in the final quarter.

Ward led the Lady Eagles with 19 points and cracked the 1,500-point milestone for her career. She now has scored 1,512 career points. Mitchell finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds. McDonald stuffed the stat sheet with 5 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Senior Lorna Mendell grabbed 5 rebounds, and Heustess had 3 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

“I thought Patience and Alexus played really well,” said Evers. “We just have to get back to practice and work harder.”

East Bladen      12  19  11  5 – 47
East Columbus  6    4    9  2 – 21

EAST BLADEN (47) – Katie Evans 2, Lily Lin, Mya McDonald 5, Alexus Mitchell 13, AnnaGrey Heustess 2, Karlie Priest, Abbie Cross 4, Maegan Burney, Patience Ward 19, Sara Gargala, Aaniyah Jackson 2, Lorna Mendell.

EAST COLUMBUS (21) – Aziya Barr 4, Dasia Parker, Asya Graham King, Lazaydia Flowers 4, Taylor Keaton 2, Sanauwa Campbell 4, Siera Strickland, G. G. Bellamy 3, June Baldwin 4.

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