Defense leads Lady Eagles past North Brunswick

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Lady Eagles fell behind early on Thursday, but roared back with a stingy defense to upend visiting North Brunswick, 42-27, on the second day of the East Bladen Holiday Classic.

The win gave East Bladen a 2-0 run through the tournament and improved the Lady Eagles to 9-1 overall this season.

The Lady Scorpions used an 8-4 run at the end of the first quarter to build a 14-10 advantage going into the second stanza. But East Bladen flipped the defensive switch and everything changed.

Patience Ward got things started for East Bladen with a steal that she turned into a fast-break basket, fueling a 9-0 Lady Eagles run that gave them the lead for good, 19-14. Before halftime concluded, East Bladen closed the second quarter with a 5-2 burst behind a three-pointer by Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson and carried a 24-16 lead into the intermission.

North Brunswick opened the second half with a 6-2 run to close the deficit to 26-22, but East Bladen finished the third quarter with a 4-1 burst to take a 30-23 lead into the fourth frame.

The Lady Scorpions started the final period with a bucket to get back within five, nut Shardajah Brown drained a pair of three-pointers that sparked a 12-0 East Bladen explosion and opened a 42-25 lead. North Brunswick got the game’s last points but went home with a 15-point loss.

“We played much better — we got balanced scoring and a big second quarter, defensively,” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers. “Shardajah got open for some threes that helped us pull away and we rebounded better in the second half.”

Moore-Peterson led the Lady Eagles with 13 points, seven rebounds, six steals and four assists; Brown contributed 10 points and seven rebounds; Erica McKoy added 10 points and three steals; Ward had nine rebounds and six points; and Lorna Mendell grabbed eight rebounds.

East Bladen will get some time off during the holidays before returning to action on Tuesday, Jan. 2, by hosting East Columbus in a Three Rivers Conference tilt.