Laney girls outlast scrappy New Hanover team
Fri. December 28, 2012 at 10:07 p.m. | By StarNews Sports Department
Laney's Amber Doniere shoots over New Hanover's Asia Davis on day two of the Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament at Hanover Hall on the campus of UNCW Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 (Photo by Star News photo by Matt Born)
Laney's girls outlasted a scrappy New Hanover team and muscled into the tournament championship game with a 50-38 win.
The Bucs took advantage of some key foul trouble to spark a second-half rally and pull away. New Hanover kept the game level in the first half with the strong play of junior forward Kapria Pressley. Pressley scored 12 of her 16 points in the first half.
"She's come a long way," New Hanover coach Vertha Dixon-Wright said. "She's a lot more vocal now than she used to be."
Behind Pressley, New Hanover led 16-9 midway through the second quarter. But Laney answered by shutting down New Hanover on the perimeter. Laney guard Tiana Edwards forced three five-second calls by herself as the Buccaneers came back and retook a 22-18 halftime lead behind Amber Doniere's 11 first-half points.
The Bucs led the rest of the way. Pressley picked up her fourth foul early in the third quarter and sat most of the second half. Without her, New Hanover's offense struggled to find rythym.
"I was pleased that we responded, regrouped a little bit and got back to playing some good defense," Laney coach Sherri Tynes said. "We were a little more patient offensively moving the ball and looking for a little better shots."
The Bucs built an eight-point lead in the third quarter and won by 12. Doniere finished with 15 points, and Briana Baham added 15 points as well, including 7-for-10 free-throw shooting.
Dixon-Wright added that despite the loss, she was pleased with how the Wildcats competed with a roster full of juniors, sophomores and freshmen.
"We're not hanging our head one bit," Dixon-Wright said. "We're going to see them at least two more times and we've got some adjustments to make."