DUBLIN — Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson scored 21 points to help lead East Bladen past a pesky West Bladen squad on Tuesday, giving the Lady Eagles a 68-62 Three Rivers Conference win.
East Bladen improved to 14-1 overall and 9-1 in the conference, while the lady Knights fell to 4-10, 2-7.
The two rivals battled throughout the first half, with West Bladen taking a slim 14-12 lead after the opening quarter. Patience Parker and Chasitty Lacey each buried three-pointers to lead the Lady Knights, while East Bladen got two baskets and a free throw from Erica McKoy.
Neither team could put together a big run through the second stanza, but the lady eagles did manage to win the period by an 20-18 margin to knot the game at 32-32 at the intermission. McKoy canned a trio of buckets and added a pair of free throws, and Moore-Peterson added three baskets and a free throw to pace East Bladen. Conner Brisson and Parker each drained a three-pointer for West Bladen in the quarter, and Elizabeth Allbright dropped in a pair of baskets and two free throws.
The Lady Eagles used an 18-14 run through the third quarter behind a three-pointer and two baskets from Moore-Peterson, along with five points from Patience Ward and two buckets from McKoy to open a 50-46 edge going into the fourth frame. West Bladen got a three-pointer from Lacey, five points from Allbright and two baskets from Brisson in the period.
But the game was hardly settled.
The two teams continued to claw at each other through the final eight minutes. Mikayla Winebarger dropped in a trio of baskets and two free throws for the Lady Knights, but East Bladen got seven points from Ward, a three-pointer from Ashley Hardin and Moore-Peterson was five-for-six from the free throw line to help take the quarter, 18-16.
Moore-Peterson’s 21 points led East Bladen and also earned her a spot in the Lady Eagles’ 1,000 point club. McKoy was right behind with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists; Ward had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds; Shardajah Brown pulled down seven rebounds; Hardin had seven rebounds; and Lorna Mendell grabbed five rebounds.
“It was a great rivalry game — both teams played extremely hard the entire night,” said West Bladen coach Brian McCleney. “We had some foul trouble early that hurt us (and) we also got hurt on the defensive glass, giving up too many second chances.”
Allbright led the Lady Knights with 15 points, while Parker and Brisson each scored 11 points. Lacey contributed nine points and Winebarger added eight points for West Bladen.
East Bladen will play host to Red Springs on Friday at 6 p.m. in a conference tilt, while West Bladen will travel to lake Waccamaw to face East Columbus on Friday at 6 p.m. in a conference game.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.