February 27, 2010

Lady Canes fall to Williamston in fourth round of playoffs


The Lady Hurricanes suffered a tough loss in Greenville on Friday night, March 5, in their fourth-round playoff game against the Williamston Lady Tigers. The 27-0 Tigers beat the Lady Canes 61-38, in what was, by most accounts, an unevenly officiated game.

According to head coach Earl Fountain, last night’s loss came down to one thing -- fouls.

It should have been an evenly matched game, he said. The Lady Tigers weren’t bigger than the Canes. They weren’t quicker than the Canes.

But when the Canes’ senior guard and star player, Paxton Gwin, picked up her third foul within the first two minutes of play, the game completely changed.

Gwin has been the driving force behind the Canes’ offense and an indispensible defender all season. She regularly leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and steals, and she rarely, if ever, comes off the floor.

So when Fountain had to take her out of the game because of  foul trouble, it put the Lady Canes at a deep disadvantage, and when she picked up another foul within the first two minutes of the second quarter, the divide between the Tigers and the Canes widened even more.

“One, maybe two, of those fouls were legitimate,” Fountain asserted. “It was one of the most biased first halves that I’ve ever seen.”

To make matters worse, Gwin wasn’t the only one in foul trouble. Senior Lauren Randall, another stand-out player for the Hurricanes, picked up her fourth foul in the third quarter.

In all, the Tigers went to the line 22 times to the Canes’ six. Of those 22 free throw attempts, they hit 18. They hit three times as many free throws as the Canes even attempted, and those 18 points would have made a sizable dent in the point spread.

With their two most experienced and successful players riding the bench, it would have been easy for the Lady Canes to cry foul and give up, but that’s not what they did.

“The girls kept their heads up,” Fountain said. “They fought.”

It was a tough loss for the Lady Canes, but it doesn’t diminish their accomplishments. They finished their 19-6 season as conference champions and one of the top eight teams in the state. Congratulations on a great season, Lady Hurricanes! We’ll see you next year.

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