Lady Raiders use strong first half to trounce Terra Ceia, win 11th straight

Published 1:07 am Wednesday, December 20, 2017

BELHAVEN — Pungo has been borderline unstoppable since a 49-43 loss at Southampton Academy in its season opener. The roll continued when it hosted rival Terra Ceia on Tuesday. The Lady Raiders’ defense held their visitors without a made shot until the last 90 seconds of the first half.

PHOTOS: Terra Ceia at Pungo girls, boys basketball

Meanwhile, an assortment of Pungo shooters built a 39-9 lead by halftime. They kept firing for a 75-31 win — their 11th in a row. Brinson Edmondson went to work in the post. Not only were her close-range shots falling, but she also grabbed offensive rebounds to produce second-chance opportunities for herself and her teammates.

Riley Cutler spread the defense out with her accuracy from midrange. Lauren Kellie Ricks and Emma Allen pushed the tempo by turning defense into transition offense.

“We just smothered them with our man-to-man. We took (Ashley James) out of the game,” Pungo coach Melanie Sawyer said.

Terra Ceia’s Laurel Meijer tries to drive in, but is consumed by Pungo’s defense.

James’ free throws gave Terra Ceia a 2-1 lead young in the game. Pungo, on the back of four different scores, notched the next 22 points of the game before the end of the first quarter.

The onslaught continued in the second. Ashley Spencer got involved with a pair of early layups. James finally stopped the bleeding by draining a 3-pointer, which marked the Lady Knights’ first basket of the game and first points since her early free throws.

She hit another long-range shot by the end of the half, but Pungo had a 39-9 stranglehold on the game after 16 minutes.

Terra Ceia found its rhythm a bit after the Lady Raiders took their foot off the pedal in the third quarter. Sarah Glass and Emily Roscoe each had a bucket, and James knocked down three more treys. She had one more at the end of the game — her sixth — to disrupt what would have been 14-straight Pungo points to end the game.

All in all, the Lady Raiders are off to about as good a start as they could hope for. Sawyer, however, is a bit weary of having some time off with the crux of the conference schedule still to come.

“I kind of dread the lull. I kind of hate Christmas break because, once you’re on a roll, you want to keep going,” Sawyer said. “It’s going to be tough coming back and getting back into the swing of things. … We’re going to practice about six times over Christmas and scrimmage some.”