Lady Eagles cruise to tourney title

Staff report

December 28, 2013

ROSE HILL — The Lady Eagles got balanced scoring to go along with its patented stop-em-and-steal defense to wallop Lakewood 59-36 on Saturday and claim the Nathan Gay Holiday Tournament title.

The win was East Bladen’s 11th straight this season without a loss.

Asha Graham got the Lady Eagles rolling early with a pair of three-pointers as East Bladen opened the game with an 11-4 spurt. Abby Ward contributed a three-pointer to help East Bladen finish off the first quarter with a 7-1 run for an 18-5 advantage.

Points came from all over the court for East Bladen in the second stanza, but Imani Turner-Dobson was a huge force inside with eight points to spark an 11-4 run. The Lady Leopards closed the half with an 8-0 spurt to pull within 28-17.

Turner-Dobson continued to produce points in the paint in the third quarter, canning a trio of layups to help East Bladen extend its lead to 38-25 going into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Eagles salted the game away with an 11-0 spurt to open the final 8 minutes.

Turner-Dobson led East Bladen with 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots. Lacey Suggs contributed 16 points.

The Lady Eagles forced Lakewood into 31 turnovers for the game, and both Suggs and Graham had four steals.

— After a touch and go opening quarter, the Lady Eagles quickly pulled away for a 65-48 win over Triton on Friday in the first round of the Nathan Gay Holiday Tournament.

The Lady Hawks stayed right with East Bladen in the opening quarter and trailed by just 13-12 going into the second stanza.

But the Lady Eagles’ offense exploded for 21 points in the second quarter, while the defense tightened and held Triton to just five points to send East Bladen into halftime holding a 34-17 lead.

In the second half, the Lady Eagles outscored Triton by a 14-6 margin to extend the lead to 48-23 and, over the final 8 minutes, coach Patty Evers got her bench some experience during a scoring free-for-all that saw the Lady Hawks put 25 on the board and East Bladen counter with 17.

Lacey Suggs led the Lady Eagles with 27 points on one three-pointer and five steals. Asha Graham added 14 points behind a pair of three-pointers and added seven assists, while Imani Turner-Dobson contributed 10 points.

Abby Norris had nine rebounds for East Bladen.