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Commanding Victory

Lady Knights top Lady Nighthawks, advance to semifinals

Currituck 37 First Flight 24

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Currituck's Ayanna Walton dribbles between First Flight defenders in the Lady Knights' 37-24 win at Pasquotank, Tuesday.

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By Craig Moyer
Sports Writer

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Currituck girls basketball team jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes on their way to a 37-24 win over First Flight at Pasquotank Tuesday night.

The game was a quarterfinal contest Northeastern Coastal Conference tournament, as the No. 3 seed Lady Knights will face No. 2 seed Pasquotank today.

Currituck (12-10, 6-4 NCC) did not take long to get on the board, as Anna Poston scored the game’s first basket just five seconds in.

Poston finished the game with a team-high 13 points, as the Lady Knights led from start to finish on the way to the win.

Head coach Matt Dixon has been focusing on defense leading to offense throughout the season, something his team had success with against No. 6 seed First Flight.

“I’ve got 10 girls who are willing to make a commitment to the program and that’s all I can ask for,” Dixon said.

Senior Lauren Gerni added six points for the Lady Knights, as well as pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds.

Currituck took a 17-12 lead into the half, but that was as close as First Flight would get for the remainder of the game.

The Lady Knights stretched their lead to as much as 14 in the third quarter and led 31-21 heading into the final frame.

One of the keys to victory for Currituck was their ability to prevent scoring runs by the Lady Nighthawks.

Dixon said his defense finished the game with close to 20 steals, which was important in limiting First Flight’s offense.

“We preached going in the pregame that if we can stop them from getting to the basket and scoring buckets, we would be in a position to win,” he said.

With the win, Currituck will play Pasquotank in today’s semifinal round at Northeastern at 4 p.m.

The Lady Knights came away with a 39-36 win in overtime over the Lady Panthers on the road Dec. 13, one of Pasquotank’s two conference losses this season.

Dixon said Pasquotank is an athletic, long and well-coached team and pose a great challenge for his team.

“It will come down to who ever has the will to win,” Dixon said.

Hertford County 37, Northeastern 27: The Lady Eagles were unable to keep pace with the Lady Bears as they fell 37-27 in the quarterfinals of the NCC tournament at Pasquotank Tuesday evening.

Tied at 12 with six minutes left in the first half, No. 5 seed Northeastern (4-15, 2-9 NCC) appeared poised to battle for a spot in the semifinals against No. 4 seed Hertford County.

The Lady Bears then closed the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 20-12 lead into halftime.

Hertford County continued their strong play in the third quarter, stretching their lead to 26-12 on a pair of three pointers to start the half.

After three quarters, the Lady Bears held a 32-14 lead, as Northeastern fought to cut the deficit in the final quarter but was unable to get closer than nine points.

Tasharli Spellman, Breanna Proctor, Kalethia Harris and Nakiyah Arnold all scored six points for the Lady Eagles in the loss.

Proctor led the team with 12 rebounds, while Harris added nine boards and Spellman grabbed eight rebounds.

BOYS BASKETBALL

First Flight 72, Currituck 56: The Nighthawks withstood a furious comeback from the Knights to secure a 72-56 victory in the quarterfinals of the NCC tournament Tuesday night at Pasquotank.

No. 3 seed First Flight came out firing on all cylinders, taking a 23-6 lead at the end of the first quarter behind a 16-0 run.

The Nighthawks expanded on their lead in the second quarter and took a 34-14 lead at halftime.

First Flight maintained a 20-point lead with 3:50 left in the third quarter, before the Knights began to cut into the deficit.

No. 6 seed Currituck (6-16, 1-10 NCC) went on a 9-0 run over the next 1:16 to play to bring the score to 41-30.

After three quarters the Nighthawks held on to a 44-35 lead.

A three-pointer from Currituck’s Quavon White cut the deficit to 44-40 early in the fourth quarter, but First Flight responded with a 5-0 run to stretch the lead back to nine.

White finished the game with 13 points, tied for the team-high with Ricky Owens.

Josh Aubuchon added seven points for the nights, while Logan Harp and Lorenza Spence added six points apiece.

In the final six minutes, every punch from the Knights was countered by the Nighthawks, as they closed out the game with a 72-56 win.

First Flight will face No. 2 seed Hertford County today at Northeastern in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m.

Bertie 63, Pasquotank 40: The Panthers (2-20) end their season in the quarterfinal round of the league tournament on Tuesday night.

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