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The Beddingfield girls varsity basketball team broke a winless start to the season with a 69-54 nonconference win at home over Greene Central on Wednesday night.
“Finally,” Beddingfield head coach Debra Pegram said after her team got its first win of the season, and broke a losing streak that started with the last game of last season. The 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference Lady Rams, however, saw their misery extended with their 14th loss in as many games.
The Lady Bruins (1-10) of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference took advantage of what Lady Rams head coach Tammy Elbert called a “dragging” start, and jumped ahead 15-12 behind junior Makayla Everette’s eight-point first quarter. Everette would finish with 25 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and a block.
“Makayla did a great job, when she was mismatched, of getting to the rim,” Pegram said.
Despite scoring a season-high 28 points in the first half, Greene Central (0-14) of the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference struggled against Beddingfield’s full court trap in the second quarter, resulting in 14 steals and a 39-28 lead for the Lady Bruins at halftime.
“Our press caused some issues,” Pegram said. “Shamya Best did an outstanding job, not only offensively, but defensively. She was really trying to make her presence known, and she had a great all-around game.”
Best finished with a team-high six steals and added eight points as well. Brittany Dudley had five steals and eight points for Beddingfield, while Kaniya Thomas also chipped in two steals to go with eight points and six rebounds.
The Lady Bruins defense also helped them balloon their lead to 23 points during the first five minutes of the second half as the Lady Rams struggled to get the ball safely past half-court. Beddingfield turned those turnovers into a 12-0 run to take a 51-28 lead with three minutes left in the third.
Greene Central sophomore Jayla Wilkins took advantage of the Beddingfield starters being pulled in the fourth with three 3-pointers to pull within 14 at one point, but the Lady Rams couldn’t any closer. Wilkins finished with a team-high 17 points in what was a season-high points output for Greene Central.
“I am very frustrated because I know these girls are improving and they’re not getting the results that we hope they would get,” first-year head coach Elbert said. “We just got to keep working and pounding, if they continue to buy into the program that we’ll get the results we’re looking for.”
Elbert, handed a 31-138 program that had gone since the 2010-11 season and had lost its two leading scorers from a year ago, said she’s happy with the improvement of her team and sees brighter days ahead as many of her players are young.
“They’ve had to grow up quickly,” Elbert said. “I’m starting freshman and sophomores, and a lot of the teams we’re playing are starting juniors and seniors. We’ve went from scoring 10 points to scoring 50-something tonight. I just feel like they are growing as athletes, and I feel like this time here will only make them better.”
Pegram said this win came right on time as Eastern Plains play begins Friday against reigning state 2-A champion North Pitt, because her players needed confidence for the second half of the season.
“We have struggled, played some quality teams and we have just not got it all together yet — but tonight was at least a step forward,” Pegram said. “Hopefully it will improve our confidence that we can start the real season Friday.”
GREENE CENTRAL (54)
Sutton 3, Davis 8, Mason 6, Wilkins 17, Hill 8, Turner 2, Thompson 10.
Anderson 2, Dudley 8, Cooper 8, Pope 4, Farmer 2, Best 8, Thomas 8, Huggins 4, Everette 25, Shade, Sherrod.
Score by quarters:
Greene Central 12 16 6 20 — 54
Beddingfield 15 24 16 14 — 69