Lady Pam Pack excited about another game

Published 5:43 am Tuesday, February 24, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
The gear had been put away. Players had started into their spring sports. Then the unexpected happened — there was a reason to bring out the basketballs again.
It was “a pleasant surprise” for Washington Lady Pam Pack coach Allison Jones and her players when they realized that they would be playing in the state basketball playoffs.
The Lady Pack (9-13) was one of two teams to earn a wild-card entry in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3A East playoffs. Washington will tip off playoff action tonight at eighth-ranked Wilson Beddingfield (23-3), the top seed in the Eastern Carolina Conference and last year’s state runners-up.
Jones was pleased with the effort her seven players gave in Monday’s practice.
The Bruins are led by Shaniqua Clay (18.2 ppg, 4.4 apg, 4.3 spg), Casey Elliot (11.8 ppg, 7.0 apg) and Ansia Dial (10.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg).
While Jones realizes Beddingfield has a solid team, the Pack coach thinks her team will be prepared.
Washington’s two seniors — Davey Ann Burbage and Jordan Cantrell — started track practice last week. They don’t mind having to lace up the basketball sneakers for at least one more night.
Jordan Cantrell is excited that she gets to play with her sister, freshman Rachel Cantrell, at least once more.
Rachel Cantrell, who has seen more minutes on the floor and started in her team’s conference tournament game in Havelock, is ready for a new challenge.
Jones said the playoff experience will benefit her young players, like Rachel Cantrell and sophomore Beth Batchelor.
Harmony Simpkins, who missed Washington’s conference tournament game at Havelock, is expected to play tonight.
The winner of today’s game, which tips off at 7 p.m., plays the survivor between Hertford County (7-13), the No. 2 seed in the Northeastern Conference, and West Carteret (15-10), the No. 3 seed in the Coastal Conference, in Thursday’s second round.
Williamston, led by future East Carolina Lady Pirate Katie Paschal, is the only area team to earn a top seed on the girls side. The Lady Tigers (21-1), ranked fifth in the latest state poll, open tournament action Tuesday at home against the Northampton-West Hurricanes (7-14), a wild-card entry.
A Williamston victory lands them a date with either the Creswell Tigers or Northampton-East Rams in Thursday’s second round. Creswell (12-6), the No. 2 seed in the Tideland Conference, plays host to the Rams (10-14, No. 3 seed Tar Roanoke Conference) on Tuesday.
Coach Bill Lake’s Southside Lady Seahawks will also be home for the first round. Southside (15-8), the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Conference, faces the South Robeson Mustangs (10-9), the No. 2 seed out of the Southeastern Conference.
The winner takes on the survivor between the Paxton Gwin-led Cape Hatteras Hurricanes (21-2), the top seed in the Tideland Conference, and the Camden Bruins (5-18), the third seed in the Albemarle Conference.
Roanoke (14-11), the third seed in the Atlantic Conference, travels to Perquimans (13-13), the Albemarle Conference’s second seed, on Tuesday. The survivor faces the winner between Weldon (22-2, Tar Roanoke top seed) and Columbia (7-16, Tideland Conference fourth seed) on Thursday.
Jamesville (14-10), the third seed from the Tideland Conference, travels to Gates County. The Red Barons (14-13) are the second seed in the Tar Roanoke Conference. The winner takes on the survivor between Manteo (21-5, Albemarle Conference top seed) and North Edgecombe (11-14, Tar Roanoke fourth seed) in the second round.
Terra Ceia girls in playoffs
The Terra Ceia girls qualified for this year’s N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 1A state basketball playoffs.
The Knights (12-12), the No. 14 seed, will play at Word of God (13-7), the No. 3 seed, in today’s first-round game.
The winner will take on the survivor between No. 6 seed Kerr-Vance Academy (17-6) and No. 11 seed Wayne Christian School (14-7) on Thursday in second-round action at Charlotte Latin School.
Class 3A
7 p.m. – Washington at Wilson Beddingfield
Class 1A
7 p.m. – South Robeson at Southside
7 p.m. – Northampton-West at Williamston
7 p.m. – Roanoke at Perquimans
7 p.m. – Jamesville at Gates County
7 p.m. – Northampton-East at Creswell
7 p.m. – Columbia at Weldon
Class 1A
5:30 p.m. – Terra Ceia at Word of God