March 1, 2008

Lady Canes beat Manteo in Eastern Sectional finals
 ...With Slideshow


A huge crowd gathered in the gym at the Cape Hatteras School of Coastal Studies on Friday night to watch rivals Cape Hatteras and Manteo battle for the right to play in the regional finals of the NCHSAA state playoffs—the “elite eight.”  There was a lot at stake in this game, not the least of which was pride, and the intensity level was high. Both teams were feeling the pressure.

The Lady Hurricanes won the tip-off, and Caitlyn Gray set the tone of the game, sinking two three-pointers almost back to back.  The Lady Canes played their characteristic defense, smothering the Redskins and forcing turnovers, but their shots weren’t falling and they missed quite a few easy lay-ups. The score was a meager 8-8 at the end of the first quarter.  
The Canes continued to struggle with shooting throughout the game, but they more than compensated defensively.  They were so aggressive on the defensive end that two of the starting five, Paxton Gwin and Jessica Bierlein, each finished with four fouls, and one starter, Lauren Randall, fouled out fairly early in the fourth quarter. 

But in spite of foul trouble, poor shooting, and a very aggressive Manteo defense, the Hurricanes stepped up and pulled out a 51-35 victory.
“They played great. They did exactly what they had to do to win,” said Coach Earl Fountain.  

One player who really stepped up was junior Caitlyn Gray.  Gray was the all around leader, with 24 points, 5 assists, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals.  
“Tonight was her night,” said Fountain.  

Other players with outstanding stats included Paxton Gwin, (13 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and 3 steals), Jessica Bierlein (6 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals), Tori Balance (4 points, 2 rebounds), Kristian Head (2 points, 3 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals), and Lauren Randall (2 points, 2 assists, and 5 rebounds). 

The Lady Hurricanes don’t know who they will face next. Coach Fountain will attend an official meeting on Monday to determine who, where, and when the Lady Canes will play again.

(Editor’s note:  The slide show with this article is from the playoff game against Mattamuskeet on Monday night, Feb. 25.)

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