04/16/2024
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By Sonny Jones

ELIZABETHTOWN — After a pair of 40-point-plus victories against West Columbus during the regular season, the East Bladen girls’ basketball team topped those margins Tuesday night.

Laila Smith scored 20 points and Cabria Baldwin added 11 as the Eagles routed West Columbus 63-11 on Patty Evers Court in the opening round of the Waccamaw Conference tournament.

East Bladen (20-3) advances to play Pender in the semifinals Thursday at 6 p.m. at Heide Trask High School in Rocky Point. Pender (10-10) defeated Trask 51-31 on Tuesday.

Top-seeded East Columbus (19-1), which shared the regular season title with the Eagles and had a first-round bye, is scheduled to play South Columbus (8-17) on Wednesday at Trask in the other semifinal game. South Columbus beat Whiteville 32-26 on Tuesday to secure the league’s top 2-A seed.

The championship game is scheduled Friday at 6 p.m. at Trask.

Laila Smith scored eight of her game-high 20 points in an East Bladen 14-point run to open the game. The Eagles led 20-2 at the end of the first quarter.

Baldwin’s lay-up with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter gave East Bladen a 48-8 lead and resulted in the rest of the game being played with a running clock.

East Bladen reserves saw plenty of playing time throughout the game. Nevaeh Brown and Aaliyah Monroe, both freshmen, each scored seven points. Freshman Tatum Allen swished a 3-point field goal in the fourth quarter.

Tierra Braddy scored nine points for West Columbus, which ended its season 0-17.

West Columbus  2    6    0    3 — 11
East Bladen       20  17  16  10 — 63

West Columbus (11) — Iyanna Lowery 2, Tigerea Chisolm, Tierra Braddy 9, Alleyna Roberts, Keimani Little, Shanika Bethea, Madison Thomas, Dalijanea Willis, Jamya Singleton, Nakysha Johnson, Laliyah Livingston

East Bladen (63) — NeNe Ward 8, Nevaeh Brown 7, Aaliyah Monroe 7, Cabria Baldwin 11, Tyliah Freeman, Tatum Allen 3, Zoe Smith 5, Taylor Dowless, Laila Smith 20, Niyah Wooten 2.

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