ELIZABETHTOWN — Imani Turner-Dobson turned in a big game with a double-double and led the Lady Eagles to a 44-30 non-conference win over Whiteville on Friday.
East Bladen improved to 4-0 with the win.
The Lady Eagles opened the game tentative, and turnovers plagued them throughout the first quarter. After opening a 7-4 lead midway through the quarter, East Bladen could get just two free throws down the stretch and were outscored by the Lady Wolfpack 6-2.
With the game knotted at 11-11 early in the second stanza, the Lady Eagles went on a 7-0 run that was highlighted by a three-pointer from Asha Graham for an 18-11 lead, but Whiteville answered with an 8-0 spurt to regain the lead at 19-18 before East Bladen closed out the half with a 5-0 run that included another three-pointer by Graham for a 24-19 lead at halftime.
The Lady Eagles’ run to end the first half was continued in the second half, as they opened with a 9-0 spurt behind its pressure defense to expand the lead to 33-19. Whiteville, which didn’t put the ball in the basket until a free throw with 1:22 left in the third quarter, finished the period with a small 4-2 run that was made possible by a three-pointer at the buzzer to close the deficit to 35-23.
Neither team could score through the first 4:49 of the fourth quarter, but Abby Ward bombed in a three-pointer for East Bladen to increase the lead to 38-23 and the two teams all but traded points the rest of the way.
“Thank goodness Imani Turner-Dobson stepped up for us tonight,” East Bladen coach Patty Evers said. “Lacey (Suggs) had a tough game, and that’s going to happen now and then. But Imani had probably the best game of her career.”
Turner-Dobson led the Lady Eagles with 13 points and 11 blocked shots, while Graham contributed 10 points and six steals. Christiana Cromartie grabbed seven rebounds for East Bladen, while Suggs and Ward each scored seven points.
The two teams combined for 45 turnovers, with East Bladen committing 20.