WILMINGTON — Lacey Suggs all but beat Hoke County single-handedly on Saturday to help East Bladen finish 2-0 in the Laney Big Shots Hoop Feast at Laney High.
The win improves the Lady Eagles to 4-0 this season.
East Bladen set the tone right off the start by racing out to a 13-2 first-quarter lead, as Suggs led the way with 11 points in the period.
In the second stanza, East Bladen got balanced scoring but got nipped 9-8 by the Lady Bucks and took a 21-11 advantage into halftime.
Suggs came out of intermission to can six points in the third quarter and the East Bladen defense stiffened to give the Lady Eagles a 10-5 win in the quarter and a 31-16 lead going into the final frame.
East Bladen got another six points from Suggs, including four free throws, and key baskets came from Abby Ward, Ja’Tyra Moore-Patterson, Lexie Mendell and Danielle McDowell to outscore Hoke County 16-10 to seal the 22-point win.
Suggs led the Lady Eagles with 27 points and added six assists and four steals. She was named the MVP for East Bladen’s two games.
Ward had seven assist and added six points for East Bladen, while Emily Scott grabbed seven rebounds and Christiana Cromartie swatted away two shots. Ashley Hardin had four steals.
Lady Eagles struggle
In the opening game of the Laney Big Shots Hoop Feast on Friday, East Bladen got a double-double from Suggs and survived a horrendous game at three charity stripe to knock off Jack Britt High, 47-42.
The Lady Eagles finished the first quarter with a 5-2 run to take an 11-6 lead into the second quarter.
That run went to 11-4 and East Bladen opened a 17-8 lead midway through the stanza before the Lady Buccaneers rallied down the stretch, outscoring the Lady Eagles 12-9 to pull within 28-20 by intermission.
Jack Britt narrowed the deficit to 34-30 in the third quarter, then managed to pull within 42-41 with a late-game flurry. But Ward canned four free throws in the final 30 seconds and helped East Bladen seal the win.
For the game, the Lady Eagles were 8-of-17 at the line.
“Not our best game shooting shots or free throws, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” East Bladen coach Patty Evers said. “We were lucky to get the win. Our defense was solid against that group because they were big and could rebound.”
Suggs scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Lady Eagles, and Ward added nine points, seven rebounds and four steals. Scott had eight rebounds.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.