LAKE WACCAMAW — A first-half funk put the Lady Eagles in 12-point hole, but a stellar second-half surge carried East Bladen to a 46-33 non-conference win over East Columbus.
The Lady Eagles are now 6-0 this season.
The Lady Gators jumped all over East Bladen to open the game and streaked out to a 10-4 advantage after the first quarter.
That momentum continued through the second quarter and, when halftime arrived, East Columbus held a 22-10 lead.
But the Lady Eagles ratcheted up the defense in the second half and found their scoring formula. East Bladen got three-pointers from Lacey Suggs and Abby Ward in the third quarter and the Lady Eagles used a 12-7 advantage in the period to slice the deficit to 29-22 heading into the fourth quarter.
As much as nothing went well for East Bladen in the first half, everything went well in the fourth quarter. The Lady Eagles outscored East Columbus by a 24-4 margin — sparked by three-pointers from Suggs and Ward — and rode the wave to the win.
Suggs led East Bladen with 21 points, while Ward added 11. Defensively, Imani Turner-Dobson recorded nine blocked shots for East Bladen.
— Defense proved to be the key factor in the Lady Eagles’ 45-23 thrashing of St. Pauls on Monday in a non-conference matchup at Elizabethtown.
The win improved East Bladen to 5-0 on the season.
The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 10-3 first-quarter edge with balanced scoring and a tight defense. But in the second quarter, East Bladen turned up the heat by scoring 21 points behind 12 point from Asha Graham that included a pair of three-pointers.
The Lady Eagles also used their vaunted pressure defense to hold St. Pauls to just five points and took a 31-8 lead into halftime.
The Lady Bulldogs fared little better in the third quarter, denting the scoreboard for just six points and committing a slew of turnovers en route to a 45-14 deficit to start the final 8 minutes. Graham and Lacey Suggs each canned a three-pointer in the third quarter for East Bladen.
Coach Patty Evers cleared her bench in the fourth quarter and St. Pauls managed to put a small nick into the deficit, outscoring the Lady Eagles by a 9-2 margin, but East Bladen easily took the 24-point win.
“It’s still a concern about the fouls, but I guess it’s because we try to be aggressive on defense,” Evers said.
Graham and Suggs each scored 15 points to lead the Lady Eagles, while Imani Turner-Dobson added eight points. Graham also had eight steals.