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Lady Dukes rally, top William Campbell in overtime

Cumberland County High School’s varsity girls basketball team found itself down by double figures in both the first half and second half on Friday, Dec. 13, against visiting William Campbell High School, but the Lady Dukes rallied in each case and emerged victorious in overtime, 58-56, during the first night of the two-day Cumberland Holiday Classic.

“As a whole, I take it; a win is a win,” Lady Dukes Head Coach Omar Liggins said. “We played real sloppy. I think we had way too many turnovers tonight, but one thing I’m going to say is — they didn’t give up. They could have easily shut down when we were down by, we were down 15 points at one time, and they just kept fighting and they kept fighting. So, it makes we feel a whole lot better just by them doing that.”

The Lady Generals led 15-7 after the first quarter and extended that lead to 17-7 in the second quarter, but then Cumberland went on a 10-0 run to tie things up. The Lady Dukes led 25-24 at halftime.

They fell behind quickly in the third quarter, however, trailing again in double figures, but they came back again. William Campbell led 40-34 going into the fourth quarter.

Lady Dukes senior Sade’ Gregory, who had been quiet for much of the game, hit two free throws with 37.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game, 49-49, ultimately sending the contest to overtime.

During the extra session, Gregory received a pass inside and made a basket to put her team up 53-51. She made another inside basket to push the lead to 55-51.

Junior Janaia Trent hit a layup with 20.1 seconds remaining and was fouled on the shot. She hit the free throw to give Cumberland a 58-53 lead that proved to be impossible for the Lady Generals to overcome.

Trent finished the game with a team-high 20 points, sophomore Shamoni Bartee had 14, senior Nikki Hurt had nine and Gregory finished with eight.

As for what proved to be the difference in the game, Liggins said, “We just started playing a whole lot better defense.”

He credited Gregory for her speed on defense that helped limit a key player for William Campbell in the second half.

Cumberland (4-1) hosts Altavista Combined School on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. to concluded the Cumberland Holiday Classic.

Opening the night at 6 p.m. will be Prince Edward County High School (2-2) facing William Campbell. The Lady Eagles fell 38-19 to Altavista on Friday after defeating the Lady Colonels 28-23 on Dec. 9.