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Photos by Kenneth Armstrong

BLADENBORO – East Bladen raced to a 34-10 first-half lead en route to a 61-21 Three Rivers Conference girls basketball victory over an injury-riddled West Bladen team.

The victory completed a perfect 18-0 regular season for Coach Patty Evers’ Lady Eagles who claimed another conference championship by a five-game margin. East Bladen, now 23-1 overall, will host a first round conference tournament game Monday at 6 p.m.

West Bladen claimed fourth-place with an 11-7 conference record and 14-9 overall mark. Coach Brian McCleney’s Lady Knights will host fifth-place Red Springs Monday at 6 p.m. in another first-round conference tournament game.

Senior Erica McKoy opened the Lady Eagle scoring with a 3-point bomb, and freshman Maya McDonald turned a steal into a lay-up then put back a rebound for a 7-0 lead.

After West Bladen freshman Hannah Pait sank a free throw, McKoy raced for a lay-up then flipped in a runner to push the lead to 11-1. Junior Seniah Johnson banked in a 4-footer, and Pait dropped in a lay-up to close the game to 11-5, but senior Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson drilled in a 3-pointer for a 14-5 East lead at the quarter break.

Lady Eagle junior Patience Ward started the second period with a pair of lay-ups, McKoy banked in a runner, and Moore-Peterson popped in a 4-footer. McDonald canned a turn-around, senior Anna Kate White hit 2 free throws, and senior Ashley Hardin drilled in a 3-pointer for a 29-5 lead.

Junior Kasee Singletary tossed in a high-arcing tear-drop for West then nailed a long 3-point shot. Moore-Peterson banked in a runner, McDonald made a free throw, and Ward turned a Hardin assist into a lay-up for a 34-10 halftime lead.

“They came out and hit us in the mouth, and we didn’t respond,” said Coach McCleney. “They’ve got a great group over there and when they get are clicking they are hard to stop.”

Junior Mikayla Meadows cashed in 2 free throws to begin the second half, and Johnson banked in an 8-footer to trim the margin to 34-14.

Moore-Peterson pitched ahead to McKoy for a lay-up then drove for a lay-up. After Meadows made a free throw, McKoy pulled up for a 16-footer, and Mendell netted a lay-up. Johnson drained 2 free throws, but White answered with a lay-up for a 46-17 lead at the quarter break.

Two lay-ups from Moore-Peterson and one by McKoy began the final period. Ward pumped in a 4-footer then drove for a 3-point play and a 57-17 lead. Singletary drove for a lay-up then passed to Jessica Labra for a West lay-up.

A McDonald assist led to a Lily Lin lay-up, and McDonald tacked on a lay-up.

“It was a good team win,” said Coach Evers. “We ran the floor pretty well, and everybody played their role. We were good with our defensive effort.”

McKoy led the Lady Eagles with 17 points and 2 assists. Moore-Peterson filled up the stat sheet with 13 points, 6 assists, 5 steals and 4 rebounds. Ward followed with 11 points.

McDonald contributed 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Hardin dished out 6 assists and collected 4 steals. Mendell grabbed 6 rebounds and blocked 3 shots. White was credited with 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists.

Singletary led the Lady Knights with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Johnson followed with 6 points and 5 rebounds. Meadows pulled down 8 rebounds.

West Bladen was without leading scorer Lexie Corrothers who is out with an undisclosed injury and senior Carley Dawson who is out for the season with a torn ACL.

East Bladen  14  20  12  15 – 61
West Bladen   5    5    7    4 – 21

EAST BLADEN (61) – Katie Evans, Erica McKoy 17, Lily Lin 2, Maya McDonald 9, Anna Kate White 4, Abbie Cross, Kabarah Moore, Patience Ward 11, Ashley Hardin 3, Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson 13, Lorna Mendell 2.

WEST BLADEN (21) – Haley George, Tatiana Hunt, Kasee Singletary 7, Seniah Johnson 6, Mikayla Meadows 3, Essance Murphy, Hannah Pait 3, Romona Whitaker, Jessica Labra 2.