Lady Eagles slip past St. Pauls, 53-46

ST. PAULS — The Lady Eagles took one more step toward clinching the Three Rivers Conference crown on Tuesday, rallying for a 53-46 win over St. Pauls.

The win improved East Bladen to 18-1 overall and 13-1 in the conference. It was also the Lady Eagles 14th straight win, but it didn’t come easy.

The lady Bulldogs stayed right with East Bladen through the first quarter. Despite a fast start by Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson, who scored six points in the quarter, the Lady Eagles found themselves knotted at 8-8 going into the second stanza.

Erica McKoy stepped up in the period for East Bladen, canning seven points, but the Lady Eagles could only open a 22-21 edge by the time halftime arrived.

That lead would get extended in the third quarter, but not by much. Patience Ward led East Bladen with six points in the period and Shardajah Brown added five points, but it took a jumper from Moore-Peterson as the quarter expired to put the Lady Eagles up, 36-32.

St. Pauls opened the fourth frame on a 9-5 run that tied the game at 41-41, but East Bladen answered with an 8-2 burst behind McKoy, who scored all of the Lady Eagles’ points on a three-pointer, two baskets and a free throw for a 49-43 lead. The Lady Bulldogs managed to get within 49-46, but McKoy sank a jumper and Moore-Peterson added a pair of free throws to seal the win.

McKoy led East Bladen with 19 points and added five rebounds; Ward contributed 15 points with six boards, four steals and four assists; Moore-Peterson had 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists; Ashley Hardin had six steals and five rebounds; and Brown had five rebounds.

East Bladen will play a conference game Wednesday at South Robeson at 6 p.m.