W. Curt Vincent Editor
January 7, 2014
DUBLIN — After one of their patented slow starts, the Lady Knights got another double-double from Courtney Thomps0n, double-digit rebounds from Breanna Jackson and four three-pointers from three players to hand visiting Pender County a 51-23 Four County Conference loss.
West Bladen improved to 9-2 overall and 4-0 in the conference, while the Lady patriots fell to 0-12, 0-5.
Pender canned the first basket of the game and the score stood at 2-0 until the 3:56 mark when the Lady Knights scored their first points. That basket not only knotted the game, but sparked an 8-0 run by West Bladen.
After the Lady Patriots found their second basket to cut the deficit to 8-4, West Bladen closed the first quarter with a 5-0 spurt to take a 13-4 advantage. Thompson finished the opening quarter with 10 points.
With the Lady Knights holding a 16-9 lead early in the second quarter, West Bladen’s inside game took over. Thompson was three for five at the line and sank two baskets along the way, and the Lady Knights went on a 14-0 run that featured a three-pointer from Laikyn Pait.
Pender hit two buckets to end the half, but still trailed 30-12 at intermission.
“Imagine that, a slow start,” West Bladen coach Pam Stephens said. “But once we got going and got the ball to Courtney, we did fine.”
The second half opened quietly for both teams, and the first points didn’t come until 2:22 had ticked off the clock. But the basket by West Bladen started a 6-0 spurt that stretched the next 5:37 — and that’s when the Lady Patriots got their only basket of the third quarter, coming at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 36-14.
The final 8 minutes was a bit more frenetic, as both teams ran the floor and attacked the basket. West Bladen also got a trio of three pointers in the quarter — two from Taylor Stephens and the third from Logan Autry — and the Lady Knights cruised to the 28-point win.
“We did some things well that we worked on in practice, but we need to find more offense,” Pam Stephens said. “It was good to see Taylor’s shot come around, because we can’t rely on Courtney to score 31 every game.”
Thompson did score 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the Lady Knights. Taylor Stephens scored 11 points, Jackson pulled down 13 rebounds and Miriam Mendoza came up with three steals. Ten of West Bladen’s players scored in the game.