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After pulling within four points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Wilson Prep varsity girls basketball team fell victim to a similar kind of run late, eventually losing to North Edgecombe 61-52 in a 1-A Tar Roanoke Conference matchup at home Tuesday night.
The Lady Tigers (8-5, 3-4 TRC), who worked hard to dig out of a hole in the start of the second half, went on a 13-0 run midway through the third quarter to chip away at an 18-point defict until it was more digestible — as low as five points.
That hard work was led by senior guard Trinity Mobley, who had 11 of her game-high 26 points during that stretch, setting up what was expected to be a big fourth quarter for the home team. Only all that work fell apart from there as the Lady Warriors (4-6, 2-3) reassumed control of the game.
“We kept it up, kept the speed up,” WPA freshman Keyonna Thompson said of that third-quarter run. “I don’t know what happened at the end.”
After Mobley scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to bring her team within four points of tying the game, the offense fell silent for Wilson Prep.The Lady Warriors then went on a 12-0 run to push the lead back out to nearly 20 before the Lady Tigers could answer. A last-ditch effort from Wilson Prep was not enough to do anything but bring the margin back down to single digits.
After the game, Mobley said her team never should have been in that position in the first place, characterizing the first half as a moment when her team didn’t play up to its usual standards.
“We could have played harder in the first half and done better on defense in general,” she said. “We had a lot of times where we just gave up in the game and it wasn’t even halftime.”
North Edgecombe quickly established the upper hand, leading 11-3 early in the game and establishing a lead that hovered around 10 points until halftime. Thompson scored 13 points in the first half, but the Lady Warriors’ Shakira Tillery led all players with 17, 12 points which came from the free throw line.
The Tigers committed fouls often and looked out of sink before that third quarter.
“We were out of routine,” Mobley said. “In the beginning, everything was rushed. To us, routine is everything and since our routine was off, we were off.”
Yet when the game resumed after halftime, Wilson Prep looked like a totally different team until it no longer did. After what was a gut-wrenching loss, the Lady Tigers turned their eyes toward playing better defense in the future — and putting itself in better position late in games.
“See ball, see man,” Thompson said. “All our backs were turned from the defenders, so we can work hard on defense and we’ll get the next one.”
Thompson finished with 17 points while junior Shakira Tillery paced North Edgecombe with 23 points.
Wilson Prep returns to action Friday at home against Southeast Halifax in another Tar Roanoke test.
NORTH EDGECOMBE (61)
Perry 9, Lassiter 8, Hudson 17, Tillery 23, Bowen 2, Winstead 2.
WILSON PREP (52)
Mobley 26, Robinson 7, Thompson 17, Ziegler 2.
Score by quarters:
North Edgecombe 20 15 11 15 — 61
Wilson Prep 12 11 17 12 — 52