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Carrying the load


Ashley's Felecity Havens (24) looks to pass the ball under pressure from New Hanover's Grace Cameron (21) in the second half at the Mideastern Conference tournament girls semifinals at Laney High School on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. (Photo by Mike Spencer)


Felecity Havens, once again, put the Screaming Eagles on her back Wednesday.

The junior punctuated her 27-point night with a pair of crucial late buckets to give Ashley a 51-42 win against New Hanover in the Mideastern Conference tournament semifinals.

“That’s just a player that wants the ball,” Ashley coach Adrienne Gale said. “That wants to take over and wants to dominate.”

Havens opened the game on fire, making eight of her first nine shots and piling up 17 points. At halftime, Ashley led by 13 points and Havens had as many points as New Hanover did.

But New Hanover keyed on Havens in the second half and the Screaming Eagle offense stagnated. New Hanover used its size to control the offensive glass and work back into the game with offensive rebounds.

New Hanover (10-13) had 13 offensive rebounds in the second half alone as Kapria Pressley found the bucket; she led New Hanover with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Grace Cameron’s 3-pointer cut the Ashley lead to seven points with 5:34 to play, and Havens still hadn’t made a field goal in the second half.

But Havens and Ashley had an answer. In a two-minute stretch, Havens bulled her way to back-to-back buckets to put Ashley up by double digits again, and hauled in four offensive rebounds to boot. Havens finished with eight fourth-quarter points to give Ashley the lift it needed.

“That’s part of the things we were working on,” Gale said. “When teams go on those little runs, we have to squash their runs, have more want and willpower to stop negative things to happen. There was Fe, just wanting the ball.”

With the win, Ashley moves on to face Laney on Friday in the tournament championship. It will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season.

“Rocky IV, here we go,” Gale said of the matchup.