03/02/2024
Spread the love

By Sonny Jones

ELIZABETHTOWN — One streak came to an end and, the East Bladen girls basketball team hopes, another one is just beginning.

Sophomores Lalia Smith and NeNe Ward combined to score 23 points and hand out 12 assists Tuesday night as the Eagles snapped a rare three-game losing streak in defeating Midway 53-32 in a Southeastern Athletic Conference game.

East Bladen is 4-3 in the conference, 12-5 overall and its next two games are against teams that have combined to win only two conference games and that came against each other. The Eagles are scheduled to play at Clinton on Thursday and at rival West Bladen on Monday.

Freshman Lizzy Kirkland knocked down a trio of 3-pointers and Mallory Baggett also had nine points for Midway, now 3-4 in league play and 10-7 in all games.

Smith finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots while making 6 of her 10 field goal attempts. Ward netted 11 points, 7 assists and 4 steals in helping the Eagles notch their first win since beating non-conference opponent Heide Trask 58-10 on Jan. 11.

Maegan Burney had nine points for East Bladen. AnnaGrey Heustess had a 3-point field goal to go along with a pair of blocked shots and 5 assists. Karli Priest and Zoe Smith each had 5 points with Priest collecting 3 steals.

Priest accounted for five of East Bladen’s first six points, opening the game with a 3-pointer, then converting a lay-up off a pass from Laila Smith that staked the Eagles to a 6-2 lead. Midway never got closer.

Laila Smith added three baskets in the first quarter as East Bladen built a 17-4 lead.

East Bladen scored the first 13 points of the second quarter, highlighted by Ward’s six straight points midway through, that made it 30-4.

Zoe Smith and Ward connected for 3-pointers in the third quarter as East Bladen maintained its 24-point margin and led 44-20.

A basket and two free throws by Burney put East Bladen ahead 48-22 with 6:34 remaining. Midway scored the next nine points to get the margin under 20 at 48-31. Niyha Wooten capped the East Bladen scoring with a free throw to account for the final score.

Midway            4    4  12  12 — 32
East Bladen  17  15  12    9 — 53

MIDWAY (32) — Jaycie Byrd 2, Leah Culbreth 1, Lizzy Kirkland 9, McKenzie Williams 7, Karabeth Benson 2, Mallory Baggett 9, Megan Jackson 1, Avery Strickland, Peyton Herring 1, Lindsey Royal.

EAST BLADEN (53) — NeNe Ward 11, Martha Simmons, Ariel Cromartie 7, Cabria Baldwin, AnnaGrey Heustess 3, Karli Priest 5, Zoe Smith 5, Maegan Burney 9, Laila Smith 12, Nia McKoy, Brianna Phillips, Niyha Wooten 1.

About Author