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GIRLS: New Hanover 36, Havelock 33

New Hanover's Asia Davis (22) soars to the net over Havelock on day one of the Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament at Trask Coliseum on the campus of UNCW Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. (Photo by Photo by Mike Spencer)

New Hanover held off Havelock down the stretch Thursday afternoon on the way to a first-round win.

Grace Cameron paced the Wildcats with 10 points and teammate Kapria Pressley added nine points and six rebounds.

"Every win that we get is a plus," New Hanover coach Vertha Dixon-Wright said of her young team. "We had some good defensive stands. Overall, I'm pleased with the win."

Kierra Fleming was a force inside for the Rams with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

New Hanover's only three field goals in the first period were 3-pointers. The Wildcats' perimeter prowess against the taller Rams opened things up for their inside game in the second half.

The score was knotted at 20 at the break and the Wildcats built a 25-20 lead early in the third quarter. Their largest lead of the second half was six points (33-27) on Cameron's baseline move with 5:40 to go.

Cameron also turned in a key steal on a Havelock fast break with 15 seconds to play.

Dixon-Wright was not pleased with the number of turnovers her players lost, but liked their response.

"We made some crucial turnovers, but we were smart enough to hustle back to get it back," she said. "I had to put some freshmen in there and, believe it not, the freshmen came through."

The result sets up a second-round matchup between New Hanover and Laney, slated for 3 p.m. Friday in Trask Coliseum.