DUBLIN – St. Pauls broke open a close game with a 23-5 third quarter surge en route to a 59-26 Three Rivers Conference girls basketball victory over West Bladen Friday night.
The Lady Knights had battled St. Pauls on even terms throughout the first half. Senior Patience Parker drove for an opening lay-up then stole the ball and pitched ahead to senior Chasitty Lacey for a lay-up.
Sophmore Seniah Johnson drove for a lay-up and a 6-5 lead then banked in a 3-point shot for a 9-7 West Bladen lead at the quarter break.
Lacey sank 2 free throws to begin the second period, and freshman Nyasia Ellison converted a Parker in-bounds pass into a lay-up and a 13-7 Lady Knight lead.
T. J. Eichelberger put back a follow and hit 2 free throws as St. Pauls pulled even at 13-13. Junior Conner Brisson drove for a lay-up, and Ellison sank a free throw for a 16-13 West lead.
Parker dropped in 2 free throws for an 18-15 Lady Knight lead, but Jivee Nettles-Graham bombed in a 3-point shot to push St. Pauls ahead 21-18 at halftime.
After a pair of Eichelberger baskets for the visitors, Lexie Corrothers banked in a 6-footer to keep West Bladen within 25-20. Eichelberger threw in 8 more points as St. Pauls grew their lead to 44-23.
Junior Carley Dawson drilled in a 3-pointer from the corner for the only Lady Knight points during the St. Pauls run. Brisson hit a free throw, and senior Elizabeth Allbright banked in a 4-footer for the final West Bladen points.
“With all the injuries and then the foul trouble, we are just running out of bodies,” said Lady Knight Coach Brian McCleney. The Lady Knights were missing 4 regulars due to injury – Indiyah Williams, Mikayla Winebarger, Kasee Singletary and Scjada Ellison.
Johnson led the West Bladen scoring with 5 points. Parker totaled 4 points and 3 steals before fouling out. Lacey scored 4 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Nyasia Ellison pulled down 5 rebounds, and Brisson corralled 4 rebounds.
Eichelberger topped all scorers for St. Pauls with 25 points.
West Bladen will travel to South Columbus Tuesday night.
WEST BLADEN (26) – Conner Brisson 3, Lexie Corrothers 2, Carley Dawson 3, Patience Parker 4, Seniah Johnson 5, Brigit Zuniga, Chasitty Lacey 4, Elizabeth Allbright 2, Nyasia Ellison 3, Jessica Labra.