Perfect league ending for Raiders

Feb. 21, 2014 @ 11:45 PM

The reaction of Shannon Jones following her team’s 49-29 loss at Southern Vance Friday probably sums up the impression that most Northern Carolina Conference teams had of the Raiders this season.

“This is just one of those teams,” said Jones, the Warren County head coach. “They play together well. They run, they press and they intimidated us I felt like.”

Southern held Warren County without a field goal for nearly the first 13 minutes of the game and took a 27-5 halftime lead on its way to clinching a perfect Northern Carolina season.

It was another dominant performance for Southern, one night removed from a close win over Bunn. Those tight victories haven’t been commonplace for the Raiders (20-2. 14-0), who have reeled off 13 consecutive wins since falling to Northern Nash in a non-conference bout. The Knights were also responsible for Southern’s other defeat.

The win over the Eagles on Senior Night clinched Southern’s first regular season conference title since 2005.

“It means a lot to me,” said the Raiders’ senior point guard Breona Jones, who led the team Friday with 15 points. “It means a lot to my whole team. We worked hard all season long. At the beginning of the season, everyone said they wanted to win a championship.”

Jones added six rebounds, five steals and four assists and wasn’t the only senior who had a big night. Kechae Parker had 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals and Rashyda Burwell finished with 10 points.

Kiyanna Kearney, Mikayla Sellers and Cordecia Southerland round out the Raiders’ senior class.

“They kept focus all year and just wanted to get better,” said Southern head coach Amy Simpson. “I commend them for a great season. I’m so grateful that I had this young group of ladies, from seniors all the way down to freshmen.”

Alexis French led Warren County with eight points.

The Eagles are squarely on the bubble for selection to the 2-A state playoff and Southern will host a first round game on Monday.

“We just have to stay together, keep working, keep practicing,” said Breona Jones. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”

It has worked well so far.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.