Lady Raiders stopped short of regionals

Feb. 28, 2014 @ 10:01 PM

Southern Vance jumped out to a 22-5 lead Friday after one quarter at East Bladen and led 34-21 at halftime.

But the Lady Raiders couldn’t finish off the home team and were outscored 26-6 in the third quarter and ultimately fell 65-53, one win short of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A quarterfinals.

“We just couldn’t make enough stops, enough baskets to get back,” said Southern head coach Amy Simpson.

No. 5 Southern finished the season at 22-3 overall. No. 4 East Bladen (28-1) advanced to meet the winner of top-seeded and unbeaten Reidsville against No. 8 Wilson Beddingfield (19-3).

Simpson said East Bladen picked up the tempo in the second half, took advantage of some close calls and were energized by a good home crowd in Elizabethtown.

“The kids didn’t give up on the game,” said Simpson. “We just had moments where we didn’t score as quickly as we’ve been known to.”

Southern point guard Breona Jones has been known to fill the stat sheet for the last four seasons. The senior closed her career with a 17-point performance, adding five rebounds and five steals.

Jones is one of six seniors on the Raiders squad along with Kechae Parker and Rashyda Burwell, who scored 10 and eight points respectively Friday.

It was the first 2-A defeat of the season for Southern, which lost twice to Northern Nash of 3-A.

“I think the girls should be proud and not hang their heads,” said Simpson. “It wasn’t a storybook ending, but the kids worked hard all year long.”