Lady Eagles survive East Columbus upset threat

ELIZABETHTOWN — Patience Ward and Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson combined for 30 points to help lead the Lady Eagles past visiting east Columbus, 49-42, in a Three Rivers Conference match-up on Tuesday.

The win improved East Bladen to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference.

The two teams opened the game showing rust from the holiday break, but the Lady Eagles used two baskets by Moore-Peterson to open an 8-4 edge after the first quarter.

Things opened up in the second stanza, as East Bladen got nine points from Ward — three buckets and three free throws — to fuel the Lady Eagles’ 15-13 advantage and send the home team to the locker room with a 23-17 lead.

East Bladen pushed the lead to 29-21 early in the second half on three more baskets by Ward, but the Lady Gators fought back with an 8-0 run to knot the game at 29-29. The two teams traded the remaining three points each in the third quarter and went to the final 8 minutes tied at 32-32.

East Columbus took a 34-32 lead early in the quarter, but the Lady Eagles finished the game with a 17-8 burst to seal the win.

“We will take the win, but we can play much better …” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers. “Erica McKoy did a great job with her intensity level and created a lot of opportunities for us.”

Ward led the Lady Eagles with 17 points and contributed seven rebounds, while Moore-Peterson contributed 13 points and handed out six assists. McKoy added 11 points with five assists, and Lorna Mendell slapped away five Lady Gator shots.

East Bladen will travel across the county to face West Bladen on Friday at 6 p.m. in a Three Rivers Conference tilt.