RED SPRINGS — After splitting the two regular-season games, the rubber game between West Bladen and Red Springs came down to the first round of the Three Rivers Conference girls basketball tournament on Tuesday.
This one was all Lady Red Devils.
The visiting Lady Knights had played Red Springs tough during the regular season — losing a 48-42 verdict, then ripping the Lady Red Devils by a 60-38 verdict. But on Tuesday, the conference’s No. 2 team put things away quickly en route to a 60-30 win.
Red Springs opened the game with a 19-7 run through the first quarter, and West Bladen could never recover.
The Lady Knights could manage only three free throws in the second stanza and were outscored by an 11-3 margin to carry a 30-10 deficit into halftime.
Patience Parker canned 5-of-6 free throws and added a bucket to pace West Bladen in the third quarter, but the lady Red Devils still managed to win the quarter, 13-11, and widen the lead to 43-21 going into the fourth frame.
Elizabeth Allbright found some space to work under the basket for the lady Knights, dropping in a pair of baskets along with a free throw, but Red Springs coasted to the 30-point win by outscoring the visitors 17-9 down the stretch.
“It was a tough game,” said West Bladen coach Brian McCleney. “We couldn’t match up against (Taya) Jones and (Taylynn) Atkinson (but) I’m very proud of my team this year — they have fought hard through illness and injuries.”
Parker led West Bladen with 10 points, while Allbright scored seven and Chasitty Lacey scored five.
The lady Knights finish their season with an 8-17 mark.