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Lady Raiders strong start earns top ranking

Different season, same results-at least so far.

After a trip to the volleyball Final Four, the Pungo Christian Academy girls basketball team is 3-0, good enough for the number one ranking in the first North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A pol as compiled by MaxPreps.

The Lady Raiders have outscored their opponents by almost 23 points a game, with the closest contest being a 57-48 overtime victory at Christ Covenant of Winterville.

“We’ve played very well together so far and have adapted to wearing our masks,” Coach Meanie Eddleman said. “We have balanced scoring from our five starters and our defense has been strong so far.”

The senior nucleus of Lauren Kellie Ricks, Emma Williams and Riley Cutler have combined for 30 points, 23 rebounds and 11 steals per game. Sophomore Reagan Stoop has averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds. Ricks needs 57 points to become the eighth girls players to score 1,000 for her career. She is 69 rebounds away from 800 and if she does both, Ricks would be the fifth girls player with 1,000 points and 800 rebounds in her career.

“Their effort has been great so far and I’m planning on that continuing,” Eddleman said. “Staying healthy is a big key and we’ll keep working to improve.

The Pungo boys are 2-1 and ranked 8th with the loss (55-50) to 7th ranked Community Christian of Wilson. Senior Miller Lee scored 33 in that contest and averages a team-high 24 points and eight rebounds a game. Freshman Drew Van Staalduinen is second with nine points a game.

Senior Caeden Lyons along with juniors Fortino Beltran and Josh Reynolds have led the defense and combine for nearly 12 steals per game. Both teams are back in action Tuesday at Lawrence Academy.

The Terra Ceia boys are off to a 4-2 start as junior Elijah Shelton has scored 20 or more points in his last four games, with a season best 30 in a win over Unity Christian. The Knights girls are 1-3. Junior Carly James averages a team-best 13.5 points a game. Both teams return to the court Tuesday at home against Northeast Academy.

The Washington Montessori boys are 2-2 while the girls are 1-3 in the early going.