ELIZABETHTOWN — The Lady Knights found themselves in an early hole Wednesday and couldn’t climb out, falling to North Brunswick 50-44 on the first night of the East Bladen Holiday Tournament.
The loss drops West Bladen to 2-7 overall.
The Lady Scorpions opened the game with an 8-0 run and held West Bladen scoreless for the first 2:46. Bridget Zuniga ended the drought with a basket for the Lady Knights, but North Brunswick went on another 8-0 spurt to open a 16-2 lead.
Conner Brisson stopped the bleeding with a bucket and, after a Lady Scorpions basket, Kasee Singletary canned a shot to end the first quarter with North Brunswick up, 18-6.
That lead was stretched to 22-6 early in the second stanza before Elizabeth Allbright dropped in a layup with 5:33 left in the half. After another Lady Scorpions basket, West Bladen finished the half with a 10-0 burst — Nyasia Ellison had a basket, Chasitty Lacey hit a three-pointer, Mikayla Winebarger hit a free throw, Patience Parker buried a basket and Allbright canned a shot — to pull within 24-18 at halftime.
North Brunswick came out in the second half and put together a 7-0 run to build a 31-18 advantage — and the Lady Knights went cold over the third quarter’s first 4:32 before Singletary hit a free throw.
The lady Scorpions went on a 6-1 run before Lacey drained a pair three-pointers to finish the third quarter and get West Bladen within 38-28.
The Lady Knights opened the fourth quarter with a pressure defense that helped manufacture a 9-5 burst, but North Brunswick answered with a 5-0 run to open a 48-36 edge.
But baskets by Winebarger and Singletary got West Bladen within eight before North Brunswick canned two free throws. Two quick turnovers by the Lady Scorpions led to a bucket by Allbright and two free throws by Brisson before time ran out.
“We get behind so early and we just can’t get back.” West Bladen coach Brian McCleney said. “They did a nice job to get back within single-digits, so the effort is there. But we have to limit those early runs.”
Turnovers also played a part, as the Lady Knights had 34 in the game — 12 in the first quarter.
The Lady Knights were led by Lacey’s nine points on the trio of three-pointers, while Allbright scored eight points.
West Bladen will play Wallace-Rose Hill on Thursday at East Bladen High at 5 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.