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Girls Basketball: East Bladen 56, Whiteville 49

WHITEVILLE – Patience Ward fired in 12 of her game-high 26 points during a 19-5 closing run that rallied East Bladen to a 56-49 victory over Whiteville in the Three Rivers Conference girls basketball opener for both teams.

Ward threw in 3 baskets and sank 6 of 8 foul shots in the final period, and junior Sara Gargala dropped in 2 baskets during the winning rally.

Photos by Kenneth Armstrong

“Down by 7 points early in the 4th quarter and pulled it out,” said Lady Eagle Coach Patty Evers. “Lorna Mendell may not have scored but she came up with big rebounds, blocks and did everything that she could have done.”

Evers continued, “Patience kept her composure and made some big free throws at the end. Sara Gargala gave us a big lift off the bench. Alexus Mitchell and Mya McDonald did a great job generating offense in the second half!”

Marnasia Smith and Jazmin Faison sparked Whiteville to a 15-11 first quarter lead with 4 points each. Ward tossed in 3 baskets and a free throw in the period to keep East Bladen close.

Freshman AnnaGrey Heustess sank 2 baskets and a free throw to spark a 16-7 Lady Eagle spurt in the second period. Mitchell and Ward pumped in 2 baskets each during the run as East Bladen took a 27-22 halftime lead.

I’Reona Johnson poured in 11 of her team-high 17 points for Whiteville in the 3rd period as the Lady Wolfpack edged back in front 41-37.

Mitchell finished with 9 points for the Lady Eagles. McDonald totaled 8 points, and Heustess chipped in with 7 points. Marnasia Smith scored 8 points for the Lady Wolfpack.

“Katie Evans went down early in the first period and that hurt our guard play,” said Coach Evers. “AnnaGrey did a good job filling in when Katie was out, and the girls got the stops at the end to beat a good Whiteville team,” said Coach Evers. “I am so proud of this group for not quitting.”

The Lady Eagles improved to 4-0 with the victory and will host South Columbus Friday night.

East Bladen  11  16  10  19 – 56
Whiteville     15    7  19    8 – 49

EAST BLADEN (56) – Katie Evans, Mya McDonald 8, Alexus Mitchell 9, AnnaGrey Heustess 7, Abbie Cross 2, Maegan Burney, Patience Ward 26, Sara Gargala 4, Lorna Mendell.

WHITEVILLE (49) – Trinity Smith 4, I’Reona Johnson 17, Jazmin Faison 4, Alexandria Bellamy 5, Ruth Maldonado 6, Tessa Nicholson 4, Marnasia Smith 8, Emily Hewett 1.

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