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Girls Basketball: West Bladen 51, West Columbus 22

CERRO GORDO – Seniors Laikyn Pait and Logan Autry combined for 27 points to lead West Bladen to a 51-22 non-conference girls basketball victory Wednesday night over West Columbus.

Autry and sophmore Erica McKoy sparked the Lady Knights to a 14-9 first quarter lead. Autry drained a 3-point shot and 2 free throws, and McKoy tossed in 2 baskets and a free throw in the period.

Pait threw in 2 baskets and a free throw that keyed an 11-3 Lady Knight surge that stretched the lead to 25-12 at halftime. Autry and seniors Akira Grimes and Jerena Purdie tallied one basket each during the spurt.

After West Columbus scored the first 2 points of the second half, a 20-2 West Bladen blitz blew the game open. Pait turned an in-bounds lob from Autry into a lay-up. Pait returned the favor by stealing the ball and pitching ahead to Autry for a lay-up.

Autry hit a free throw then drove for a lay-up. Grimes canned 2 free throws and drove for a lay-up as the lead grew to 36-16. Autry cashed in a free throw, and sophmore Conner Brisson drove for a lay-up and made 2 free throws.

Mikayla Winebarger drove for a lay-up, and junior Patience Parker sank 2 free throws to push the lead to 45-16 at the quarter break. Pait turned a driving lay-up into a 3-point play to begin the final quarter then dropped in 2 free throws.

“We are scoring more than we did last year, and we have gotten better over the first 3 or 4 games,” said Lady Knight Coach Rick Rhoda. The kids are learning the defense better, and we are going to pressure the ball going forward. That will help us get out and run.”

Grimes finished with 6 points, and McKoy totaled 5 points.

The Lady Knights are now 2-2 and will travel to Red Springs Wednesday.

WEST BLADEN (51) – Conner Brisson 4, Mikayla Winebarger 2, Erica McKoy 5, Patience Parker 3, Logan Autry 13, Indiyah Williams, Laikyn Pait 14, Jenna Dove, Elizabeth Allbright 1, Akira Grimes 6, Jerena Purdie 3.

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