Cape Hatteras wins WDN Holiday Invite girls title
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
YEATESVILLE — When Paxton Gwin and Jordan Cantrell butted heads early in the second quarter, both players were forced to leave the game. The collision was severe enough that both players were left bloodied.
Cantrell got patched up and was able to return to the game for the Terra Ceia Knights. However, Gwin, who desperately wanted to continue playing, had to go to the hospital for stitches. That meant that the Cape Hatteras Hurricanes would be without its star player for the rest of the championship game of the 28th annual Washington Daily News’ Holiday Invitational.
Caitlyn Gray decided to take it upon herself to step up, and step up she did. Gray scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Hurricanes past the Knights, 43-33, in Friday’s championship game.
Gray hit some huge shots in the second half, which helped the Hurricanes (7-3) pull away from the Knights (7-9). She hit three big jumpers in the third quarter when the Hurricanes outscored the Knights 10-3.
Gray earned Most Valuable Player honors because of her efforts.
Cape Hatteras coach Earl Fountain, who was already shorthanded a couple players before Gwin went down, was thrilled to go home with the championship trophy.
Gwin hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter to give her team an 11-8 lead. She and Cantrell collided and the game was stopped one minute into the second quarter.
Cantrell, who finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals, returned 36 seconds later. While the junior only managed two points in the quarter and four points in the half, her passing helped Terra Ceia pull within 17-16 at the break.
Gray’s outside shooting in the third helped Cape Hatteras extend its lead to 27-19.
Cantrell scored eight of her points in the fourth as she valiantly tried to bring her team back.
The Knights got as close as six points, but Kristian Head, who finished with 10 points, hit some key free throws down the stretch for the Hurricanes.
Mariah Van Essendelft finished with seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Knights. Lauren Ashley chipped in four points and eight rebounds.
Cantrell and Van Essendelft joined Gray and Gwin on the all-tournament team. Also making the squad were Pamlico’s Shonda Bell and Northside’s Lauren Rodriguez.
Pamlico tops Panthers
Pamlico raced out to a 25-6 lead in the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 71-33 win over Northside in the consolation game.
The Hurricanes saw four players hit for double figures. Quiesha Miller led the way with 25 points, while Shonda Bell and Mel Fuentes had 14 apiece and Kayla Blount 12.
Lauren Rodriguez paced the Panthers (0-9) with seven points. Elizabeth Harris chipped in six.
Miller scored 10 of her points in the opening quarter. She added six more in the second and seven in the third to help Pamlico build a 54-31 lead. The Hurricanes outscored the Panthers 17-2 in the fourth.
MVP: Caitlyn Gray, Cape Hatteras
Jordan Cantrell, Terra Ceia
Mariah Van Essendelft, Terra Ceia
Paxton Gwin, Cape Hatteras
Shonda Bell, Pamlico
Lauren Rodriguez, Northside
Cape Hatteras 11 6 10 16 — 43
Pamlico County 10 11 10 8 — 33
CAPE HATTERAS (43)
Caitlyn Gray 14, Kristian Head 10, Bierlein 6, Randall 6, Gwin 5, Whitehead 2, Newman, Blackmon, Clever, Midgett, Roller, Cutler.
TERRA CEIA (33)
Jordan Cantrell 12, M. Van Essendelft 7, Ashley 4, J. Van Essendelft 3, Vanderweit 3, McDonald 2, Smith 2, Floyd, Ward, Welt, Van Staalduinen.
Pamlico 25 9 20 17 — 71
Northside 6 12 13 2 — 54
Quiesha Miller 25, Shonda Bell 14, Mel Fuentes 14, Kayla Blount 12, Midgette 5, Ushry 1, Warren, Ellenberg, Ward, Jenkins.
Rodriguez 7, Harris 6, Davis 5, Leathers 4, Brewer 4, Bonney 4, Alligood 2, Bennett 1, Paniagua, Burgess, Whichard, Gaynor, Cerny.