Hurricanes top the Trojans to become
By JORDAN TOMBERLIN
Friday night’s sectional final match between the Cape Hatteras
Lady Hurricanes and the Jones Senior High Lady Trojans may not have
been the most exciting game the Canes have played this year—or
even this week—but they scored a decisive victory, nonetheless,
beating the Trojans 50-46 and moving on to the fourth round of the
NCHSAA 1A state playoffs.
The Trojans looked like a very athletic team, a fact that Head Coach
Earl Fountain confirmed before the game. “They’re
good,” he admitted. “But we’re ready.” The key,
he said, to a Hurricane victory would be rebounding.
For most of the first half of the game, the scoring was tit for tat.
The Trojans took the first possession and scored almost immediately,
with an under-the-basket play by No. 15, China Marshall—a strong
post player who would plague the Canes until she fouled out late in the
But the Canes retaliated with a bucket of their own from sophomore
Maggie Easley. Easley proved to be the Hurricanes’ answer to
Marshall. She established herself as a force in the paint and carried
the Hurricane offense, scoring 16 of the team’s 28 first-half
As Fountain had predicted, controlling the boards was the key to
controlling the game. The Trojans weren’t very strong on
the perimeter, and the Hurricanes were clogging the lane with a tight
2-1-2 zone defense.
Preventing the Trojans from getting second- and third-shot
opportunities proved to be one of the Hurricanes’ most effective
defensive weapons, and the Hurricanes were hitting the boards hard,
aggressively boxing out and forcefully jerking down rebound after
By the time the buzzer sounded at the half, the Canes had managed to
post a four-point lead over the Trojans.
When they came back out after the half, though, it seemed that the
Canes had lost some steam.
Right off the bat, Easley sank the foul-line jumper that she’d
been hitting so well in the first half, but several minutes passed
before the Canes were able to put any more points on the board. The
Canes struggled to get something going on offense, and their outside
shooting—which was so hot in the first half—was abysmal. On
top of that, they were struggling to get rebounds.
The Trojans, on the other hand, started warming up from the perimeter
and had taken control of the boards, and were able to put up whatever
didn’t go in the first time.
Toward the end of the third quarter, the Canes, who were on their third
game for the week, were starting to look very tired, and they were
starting to play very sloppily—throwing the ball away, forcing bad
shots, and letting the Trojans get to loose balls first.
They managed to maintain a one-point lead going into the
but the Trojans had gained some momentum, and it would take a couple of
big plays to swing that momentum back to the Canes.
The first play came when senior Tori Ballance was fouled on a
three-point shot. She went to the line and sank three of the prettiest
free throws you could ask for.
Then just a few seconds later, senior Paxton Gwin grabbed an impressive
rebound -- she must have a 30-inch vertical-- drove
three Trojan defenders, and dropped the ball in the basket with a
finger roll lay-in that ignited the crowd and injected some much-needed
life back into the Canes.
The Trojans started fouling out of frustration. With less than four
minutes left in the game, the fouls were seven to one, and with 34.5
seconds left, the Canes went into the double bonus.
That was pretty
much all she wrote for the Trojans.
They began fouling to stop the clock, but the Canes were hitting their
free throws. All but two of the Canes fourth quarter points came from
That didn’t leave the Trojans with too many options.
With less than four seconds left, the Trojans’ Madelyn Philyav
drained a three, but it wasn’t enough to seriously threaten the
seven-point lead the Canes had amassed, and when the final buzzer
sounded, it was the Hurricanes, once again, who emerged victorious.
The Lady Hurricanes will play top-seeded and undefeated Williamston
next week in the fourth round of the state playoffs. Date, time and
location have yet to be decided.
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