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Girls Basketball: East Columbus 41, West Bladen 32

BLADENBORO- Sophmore Alanna Deal fired in all of her game-high 15 points in the second half as East Columbus rallied for a 41-32 Three Rivers Conference victory Friday over a short-handed West Bladen squad.

The Lady Knights were without two regulars including leading scorer Lexie Corrothers who missed the game due to an administrative internal matter.

Both teams started slowly, but freshman Haley George banked in a 16-footer, and junior Mikayla Meadows sank a free throw to keep the Lady Knights within 5-3 at the quarter break.

Junior Kasee Singletary opened the second period with a 3-point basket then stole the ball and pitched ahead to junior Seniah Johnson for a lay-up and an 8-5 West Bladen lead.

The Lady Gators bounced back to go up 10-8, but Singletary nailed a 3-point shot then beat the buzzer with an end-to-end sprint for a lay-up and a 13-10 Lady Knight halftime lead.

Singletary cashed in 2 free throws to begin the second half and push the lead to 15-10. Deal sandwiched lay-ups around a 17-foot jumper by senior Sharda Baldwin as the Lady Gators rallied to take a 17-15 lead.

Senior Carley Dawson turned a Singletary assist into a lay-up, and Singletary stole the ball and drove for another lay-up. A Dawson follow-shot padded the West lead to 21-17.

Deal drove for her second 3-point play of the period, but Singletary kissed in a high-arching shot. Deal drilled in a 15-footer and made a free throw to tie the game 23-23.

Singletary swiped the ball again and raced to the rim for a 3-point play and a 26-23 West Bladen lead at the quarter break.

Sophmore La’Zaydia Flowers dropped in a lay-up and popped in a second-chance basket to put the Lady Gators on top 28-26. Deal and Singletary traded 2 free throws each, but Brown banked in a 10-footer for a 32-28 East lead.

Singletary and Dawson made one free throw each to close the gap to 32-30, but Baldwin bombed in a long 3-pointer for a 35-30 lead. Johnson drained a 17-footer to slice the margin to 35-32 with 2:14 left.

Senior Arianna Daniels beat the press for an East lay-up, and Baldwin hit 2 free throws to seal the verdict.

“We had some chances to extend our lead in the first half and didn’t do it,” said West Bladen Coach Brian McCleney. “The numbers caught up with us in the second half. We had trouble finding the rim in the second half, and they hurt us on the boards.”

Singletary led the Lady Knights with 20 points and 6 steals. “Kasee did a good job of attacking the basket and keeping us in the game,” said Coach McCleney.

Dawson pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds and scored 5 points. Meadows grabbed 7 rebounds, and Johnson scored 4 points.

Baldwin finished with 10 points for East Columbus.

The Lady Knights, now 8-3 in league play and 11-5 overall, will host Whiteville Friday after their exam break.

East Columbus  5    5  13  18 – 41
West Bladen      3  10  13    6 – 32

WEST BLADEN (32) – Haley George 2, Tatiana Hunt, Kasee Singletary 20, Carley Dawson 5, Seniah Johnson 4, Mikayla Meadows 1, Jessica Labra.

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