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WHITEVILLE – Junior Trinity Smith poured in 19 of her game-high 27 points in the second half to lead Whiteville to a 62-59 victory over East Bladen Saturday in the Three Rivers Conference girls basketball opener for both schools.

It was the first game since January 6th for the Lady Eagles whose season had been paused due to Covid-19 contacts. East Bladen had defeated Whiteville 58-48 in an earlier non-conference game.  It was the first time the East Bladen girls had lost to Whiteville in 8 years.

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Photos by Kenneth Armstrong

Trinity Smith sparked an early 17-10 Whiteville spurt with 4 baskets, and senior I’Reona Johnson drained a 3-point shot and 3 other buckets as the Lady Wolfpack went up 36-27 at halftime.

Junior Alexus Mitchell fired in 4 baskets and 7 free throws to keep the Lady Eagles close. Junior Mya McDonald tossed in 4 baskets and a free throw, and sophomore Megan Burney battled inside for a basket and 3 free throws in the first half.

McDonald (3 baskets) and Mitchell (2 baskets and a free throw) rallied East Bladen to within 48-40 at the 3rd quarter break. Sophomore AnnaGrey Heustess also dropped in a basket for the Lady Eagles, but Trinity Smith’s 5 baskets kept Whiteville on top. Smith tacked on 3 baskets and 3 free throws in the final quarter.

Heustess worked the paint for 3 baskets and 4 free throws in the fourth period. Mitchell netted 2 more baskets in the quarter, and McDonald flipped in one as East Bladen whittled the final margin to three.

Mitchell led the Lady Eagles with 22 points and 4 steals. McDonald posted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds and also collected 3 assists and 3 steals. Heustess finished with 14 points, and Burney grabbed 6 rebounds and tallied 8 points. Senior Katie Evans pulled down 4 rebounds.

Johnson followed Smith with 14 points for the Lady Wolfpack, and Marnasia Smith totaled 9 points.

The Lady Eagles, now 2-1 overall, will travel to South Columbus Tuesday night.

East Bladen   10   17   13   19  – 59
Whiteville      17   19   12   14  – 62

EB (59) – Katie Evans, Mya McDonald 15, Alexus Mitchell 22, AnnaGrey Heustess 14, Maegan Burney 8, Sara Gargala.

Whiteville (62) – Marnasia Smith 9, Trinity Smith 27, Mauricia Benette, Emily Hewitt 3, I’Reona Johnson 14, Mykelliona Shipman 4, Teonna Hall 5.

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