Tigers, Redskins take tourney titles

Published 8:06 am Saturday, February 23, 2008

By By Aaron Carpenter
Staff Correspondent
WILLIAMSTON The Lady Tigers of Williamston remained undefeated Friday night against Roanoke, winning the Atlantic Conference Tournament, but not in the fashion they’re used to. Williamston hung in there after a disastrous third quarter to beat the Lady Redskins 61-57.
Despite not being 100 percent, Paschal still scored 18 points against Roanoke and played most of the game after having the flu earlier in the week.
The first quarter featured some fast-paced play but not a lot of scoring from both teams, and it was obvious that Williamston was having trouble with Roanoke’s defensive press. The score was 10-7 Roanoke with three minutes to go in the first.
Equilia Vines started the Lady Tiger’s comeback with a short jumper followed shortly by a steal which led to her sinking a break-away layup to retake the lead for Williamston. Destiny Everett added to the lead with her own jumper to make the score 13-10 for the Lady Tigers.
The teams traded baskets over the last minute and a half, with Roanoke’s Kierra Lord netting a jumper with four seconds left to make the score 17-14 in favor of Williamston.
Vines continued to dominate in the post for coach Elks, and she and Paschal scored 12 of the team’s 17 points in the second quarter.
Behind some hard play from Roanoke’s Emoni Jones, who scored eight of her team-leading 25 in the second, the Lady Redskins kept the game close despite a 13-5 Williamston run in the first five minutes of the period.
Going into half-time, the Lady Tigers held a 34-27 lead.
Coming out of the break, Williamston looked primed to run all over Roanoke, much like the Lady Tigers had done to most of their competition this year. A 3-pointer and a couple of layups pushed the lead in Williamston’s favor to 41-29.
Coach Greg Exum of Roanoke called a 30-second time-out to settle his girls down. What Exum said to his ladies is unknown, but he needs to remember that speech.
Roanoke came back on the court and proceeded to completely dominate the game for the rest of the third quarter. Over the last four minutes of the third, the Lady Redskins out-scored Williamston 20-2, culminating with a 3-pointer from Lavasia Taylor as the buzzer sounded. The trey gave Roanoke a six point lead, 49-43, and left Williamston staring at possibly its first defeat of the year.
Alas for Roanoke, Williamston being undefeated isn’t some sort of fluke.
Calm down they did. Williamston reeled off eight straight points to open the fourth, taking the lead on Monee Jones’ three from the top of the key, 51-49.
Jones of Roanoke got one back from the foul line before the Lady Tigers went on another run, this one of seven. Paschal put the finishing touches on that run by driving the lane for a layup and sinking the free throw she was awarded after being fouled while taking the shot. Just over three minutes were left in the game at this point, and Williamston led 58-50.
Roanoke wasn’t going anywhere, however, and scored four straight of their own to halve the Williamston lead.
Vines scored the last three points for the Lady Tigers and some terrible shooting from the charity stripe from Roanoke, 3-13 in the fourth, helped seal the deal for Williamston.
Williamston begins playing in the state championship tournament next week.
The Williamston boys weren’t able to match their female counterparts’ win in an away game played at home. Roanoke’s firepower showed itself in the second half and the Redskins came away with a 94-73 victory.
It certainly didn’t start out that way, although Roanoke hit their first four 3-pointers to take a 12-8 lead with just under three minutes gone by.
Williamston rattled off 14 straight to take a 10 point lead over the next four minutes before LaKendrick Baker sank the Redskins’ fifth trey of the quarter, thus making the score 22-15.
It wasn’t until Kenneth Hyman of Roanoke, who scored a team-high 32, got a layup to go with one minute left that the Redskins scored anything from inside the arc.
Patrick Auton closed out the scoring in the first with a layup as the buzzer sounded getting the 10 point lead back for Williamston, 27-17.
The second quarter didn’t go so well for the Tigers, and turnovers and mental lapses allowed Roanoke to out-score Williamston 10-2 in the first three minutes.
Roanoke was dominating the boards on both ends of the court, and along with a few more threes, that helped the Redskins tie the score up going into the locker room at 38.
Antonio Wiggins put back a Tiger miss early in the third, and Javien Andrews drained a three, but after Derek Everett got a layup to go, the turning point in the game was played out. Williamston was up 47-44 at this point.
Hyman drove to the basket and was fouled as his layup went through the net. Andrews said something the official didn’t care for and was given a technical foul. Hyman made two of his three free throws and drilled a 3-pointer from the wig to cap off a seven point spurt in just nine seconds.
Williamston was never able to recover.
The Roanoke lead was quickly extended to 10, and although the Tigers were able to get it down to seven at the beginning of the fourth, they didn’t score again until only four minutes remained and the Redskins had built a 22-point lead, 80-58.
The closest the Tigers got the rest of the way was 19 and Roanoke left the Williamston gym as the Atlantic Conference Tournament Champions.
Both teams begin state tournament play next week.
Roanoke 14 13 22 8 – 57
Williamston 17 17 9 18 – 61
Emoni Jones 24, Lavasia Taylor 12, Kierra Lord 10, Roberson 9, Dolberry 2
Equilia Vines 25, Katie Paschal 18, Peele 9, Roberson 4, M. Jones 3, Everett 2
Williamston 27 11 16 19 – 73
Roanoke 17 21 25 31 – 94
Cedric Moody 18, Derek Everett 16, Javien Andrews 13, Kylan Harrell 10, J. Coffield 6, Wiggins 6, Auton 4
Kenneth Hyman 32, Alonza Higgs 20, Aaron Baker 17, Savion Hudson 11, Perkins 7, Little 4, L. Baker 3