Lady Eagles Hold Off Confederates

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, December 30, 2010

MIDLOTHIAN – Knowing there would be no warm-up period before the Prince Edward County High School girls basketball team hits the meat of its Southside District schedule in January, PE head coach Chris McCormick thought it was a good idea to get his team a few games in the Clover Hill Winter Break Tournament, even though his team was the only Group AA team in the tournament field.

After losing to Thomas Jefferson on the first day of the tournament, Prince Edward bounced back to defeat Lee-Davis 41-37 on Wednesday afternoon to advance to Thursday's fifth-place game against Hanover, scheduled for 4 p.m. at Clover Hill.

“We're using this tournament to help us when we get back to district play,” said McCormick. “We're going to play some close games, and hopefully our winning here, and if we can play well and maybe win on Thursday, we'll head into next week with a lot of confidence.”

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In Wednesday's contest against Group AAA Lee-Davis, PE played loosely, despite not shooting well, and led for most of the game, before the Confederates made a late charge to take their first lead late in the fourth quarter at 35-32 with 3:15 remaining on a 5-0 run by L-D guard Trena Gardner.

PE guard Regisha Elliott responded in kind with a three-pointer to knot the game at 35 apiece, and then a transition lay-up to give PE the lead again with 2:59 left to play.

Tied at 37 apiece, PE guard/forward Shadae Childress gave the Lady Eagles the lead for good with a rebound and stickback with 1:06 remaining.

Prince Edward dodged a couple of bullets in the game's final minute, as Lee Davis missed two wide-open lay-ups in a row, and the front end of a one-and-one, before the Lady Eagles secured the victory when Elliott hit both ends of a one-and-one with 14.2 seconds left to play.

“We got a little lucky there, in that final minute, I guess,” said McCormick, “but we missed a couple of wide-open lay-up opportunities earlier in the game, so I guess it evened out. Still, luck usually doesn't run in our favor for some reason, so it was nice for the girls to catch a break.”

Prince Edward led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, and extended its lead to 24-15 with 39.1 seconds left in the half on a three-pointer by Samantha Applegate. PE led 24-17 at the break.

Lee Davis picked up the defensive intensity in the third quarter, but despite holding PE scoreless until the 4:14 mark of the period, the Confederates were unable to cut into the Lady Eagles' lead. A steal and lay-up by Childress with 33 seconds left in the period gave PE a 30-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Prince Edward missed a scoring opportunity at the end of the third, and another on the first possession of the fourth that could've helped put the game out of reach. Lee Davis took full advantage of those two missed opportunities, and used a 13-2 run to take its first lead of the game on Gardner's five-point scoring burst, before Elliott countered with five quick points.

“I thought we played well defensively,” said McCormick. “We played a zone the whole time, because we wanted to dictate more of when we were going to run, and that worked for the most part.”

Gardner's 13 led Lee-Davis, while Logan Bryan and Caroline Naumann scored eight points apiece.

Elliott led the Lady Eagles with 13 points, while Childress, Applegate and Brittany Lyttle scored eight points apiece. PE was 2-5 from the foul line, with the all-important makes coming in the final minute of the game, while L-D was 0-1 at the stripe.

Following Thursday's game with Hanover, Prince Edward will resume Southside District play on Monday at Southampton, before traveling to Park View on Wednesday. PE will return home to face Powhatan on Friday.

“It could be a long week,” said McCormick. "Southampton and Powhatan will be tough, games, and I'm sure Park View will be well-motivated to prove that its game up here a couple of weeks ago was a fluke. Hopefully, we can carry any momentum we gain here into next week.”