Lady Raiders take third straight tournament title

Published 8:32 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

From PCA Athletics

The Pungo Christian Academy girls basketball team won the Tar Heel Independent Conference tournament title for the third straight year at Northeast Academy in Lasker, NC.

Wednesday, the top-seeded Lady Raiders battled against the #4 Albemarle Colts for a spot in the championship game. The Raiders jumped out to a 15 – 2 lead and never looked back, coasting their way to a 54 – 28 victory. Ginny Pugh led the Raiders with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. Allison Sawyer chipped in 10 points as the only other Raider in double figures. Eight of 10 players scored on the night.

Thursday, the #2 seeded Raiders boys battled against rival Lawrence Academy for a chance to play for a TIC Championship. The Warriors used a 21 – 13 second quarter to build a six point halftime lead. After a back and forth fourth quarter, Lawrence took a three point lead into the final minute. The Raiders had multiple chances to come back, but their struggles on the defensive glass propelled the Warriors to a 73 – 65 victory. Maddox Lee scored 20 of his team-high 27 points in the second half. Quay Artis added 14 points and 10 assists.

Friday the Lady Raiders squared off against #3 Lawrence Academy for the right to be crowned champions. The Raiders man-to-man defense kept the Warriors cold, limiting them to just 22 points through three quarters. The Raiders went up as many as 20 points in the fourth, paving the way to ta third consecutive TIC Tournament championship, 51 – 38. Pugh was lights out again, scoring a season high 17 points. Cutler was the only other player in double figures with 12.  Stoop and Sawyer combined for 24 rebounds.

Stoop was named TIC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Abbey Cutler joined Stoop on the All-Conference team. Pugh was named TIC Tournament MVP and was joined by Stoop and Cutler on the All -Tournament team.

For the boys, Quay Artis, Drew Van Staalduinen and Maddox Lee were named to the TIC All Conference team. Head Coach Logan Van Staalduinen was named Co-Coach of the year for the second consecutive season, sharing the honors with Ridgecroft coach Kris Khan.

The Lady Raiders (22-3) are the #1 team in the NCISAA 1A girls bracket. They received a double bye and will host the winner of #8 Cape Fear Christian and United Faith Christian on Saturday at 1:00.

The boys (17-8) are the #8 seed and will host the winner of Kerr Vance Academy and Halifax Academy Thursday at 5:00. With a win, they will travel to Charlotte on Saturday to play #1 ranked United Faith Christian at 2:00