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Laney girls top Hoggard in playoffs


In a game where both offenses struggled for much of the night, Laney rode its early success to a 38-29 win over visiting Hoggard in Monday night’s opening round of the Class 4A state girls basketball playoffs.

The result sets up yet another showdown for Mideastern Conference champion Laney against its archrival, Ashley. The second-round matchup – and the teams’ fifth this season – is slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Laney.

Tiana Edwards and Brianna Baham paced the Buccaneers (24-1), both finishing with 11 points. Teammate Amber Doniere added eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

“Survive and advance,” said Laney coach Sherri Tynes.”I thought we came out well. The first four minutes we were executing our offense. We were doing a good job defensively.

“And we just went to sleep. They turned up their pressure and we let it affect us. I don’t think we had our A game between the ears tonight.”

For the Vikings (10-15), Emma Haywood came off the bench to lead all scorers with 18 points, including an 8-for-10 effort at the free throw line.

Hoggard closed the gap to 34-27 late in the game, but could not pull closer as the Buccaneers ran out the clock and protected the ball.

“Defensively, I thought we were fine,” Tynes said. “But we just really struggled against their pressure tonight; for what reason, I don’t know.

“We can’t have any distractions. We’ve got to focus on what we’ve got to do offensively, to get it done.”

The Buccaneers raced out to an 11-0 lead to open the game and pulled down six of the game’s first seven rebounds. Early on, the Vikings had a difficult time moving the ball inside the arc against the Laney defense. Hoggard finally got on the board at the 1:07 mark of the first quarter, on Julia Buehler’s 3-pointer.

“I’ve never seen us start like that,” Hoggard coach Boubacar Aw said. “We were very nervous at the beginning of the game and nothing was going our way. But I think our second unit really picked up the pace.”

Laney held a 19-14 edge at the half, before starting the third period on another streak, reeling off the half’s first seven points, to take a 26-14 lead. From that point, points became tougher to come by for both teams.