Laney girls handed first loss


New Hanover’s Nyasia Waddell is surrounded by Kinston defenders as she attempts a shot on Thursday in the 20th annual Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament at UNCW. (Photo by Matt Born)


The 20th annual Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament got off to a fantastic start on Thursday, with a battle of perennial girls powers.

In a defensive battle, two-time defending 4A state champion Raleigh Millbrook downed Laney 46-42 in overtime at UNCW’s Trask Coliseum.

The Buccaneers (10-1) used an 11-0 run over the final seven minutes of the second quarter to take a 20-11 lead into halftime.

Millbrook (8-2) switched to a full-court press in the third quarter and forced Laney into four turnovers and quick shots. Kai Crutchfield’s fast break layup tied the game at 26-26 late in the period.

Back-to-back layups from Crutchfield increased the lead to 38-32 with 3:34 to play. Laney hit a free throw to cut the deficit to five.

“The thing that gets us going offensively is getting points off our defense,” Millbrook coach Chris East said. “Give credit to Laney because they attacked us and then we stopped running things in the second quarter.”

Both teams went cold until Tiana Edwards buried a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 38-36 with 19 seconds to play.

The Wildcats missed on the front end of a one-and-one with 14 seconds remaining, allowing Brianna Baham to go coast-to-coast for a layup to send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, Millbrook held Laney without a field goal and sealed the win with some late free throws.

“I was really pleased with the effort our girls played with today,” Laney coach Sherri Tynes said. “We wanted to face Millbrook and see how we matched up against one of the best teams in the state.”

Ashley 63, Tuscarora (Va.) 41

The Screaming Eagles exploded out of the gate with points on their first six possessions and cruised to a first-round victory over the Huskies.

Senior Felecity Havens hit for 12 of her 27 points in the opening period, helping the defending tournament champions open an early 18-point lead. The Troy University recruit knocked in a pair of 3-pointers and 7 of 10 free throws to match her season high in points.

Tuscarora (4-4) got within 12 points in the third quarter, but the Screaming Eagles responded with the next seven points to put the game out of reach. Junior Sophia Neubauer added 14 points in the victory.

“I feel like we all needed to go out there and put a dagger in them, like set the tone for the whole tournament, not just this game,” Havens said. “Just to let people know this is our tournament.”

Kinston 62, New Hanover 47

For New Hanover coach Vertha Dixon-Wright, the game went south not long after it started.

After a brief early lead, New Hanover struggled to execute in losing to Kinston.

“You could see it. We were as dead as a doorknob,” Dixon-Wright said. “We had no energy. We weren’t ready to play. You could see in the first quarter that game was over.”

The Wildcats (4-5) played a zone defense, which Kinston exploited with smooth, quick passes that led to open shots. The Vikings made four first-half 3-pointers and a handful of shots just inside the line to overturn an early 6-2 New Hanover lead.

Alex Simmons had a team-high 18 points for New Hanover. Kapria Pressley added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Havelock 31, Hoggard 28

Hoggard finally found its offense in the final period, but Havelock was able to hold on for the win.

The Vikings got a game-high 15 points from Julia Buehler and a game-high 11 rebounds from Aleah Thompson. Havelock was led by 12 points and nine boards from Jalisa Wilson.

The Rams used a 7-0 run to start the second half to build a 24-15 lead.

But Hoggard rallied and trailed only 27-26 on Buehler’s 3-pointer with 2:10 left. Buehler closed the gap to 29-28 with a drive with 0:30 remaining.

“That was honestly the weirdest game I’ve ever been involved in,” Hoggard coach Boubacar Aw said. “We’re a decent shooting team and today was probably one of our worst shooting nights.”

Staff writers Vince Nairn and Eric Detweiler and freelancers Tom Grady and Tim Hower contributed to this report.