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FARMVILLE — A Saturday evening road trip to Farmville Central did not yield a 2-A Eastern Plains Conference tournament title for the Beddingfield varsity girls basketball team, but it did teach the Lady Bruins plenty.
With the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs looming, a chance to challenge the Jaguars (20-3) was all the program could have asked for in its final game before the 2-A bracket was released Sunday, even if the 77-46 loss wasn’t the intended result.
“They’re probably the best team in the state of North Carolina,” Beddingfield head coach Debra Pegram said. “So this is a great marking point and we’ll just see where we fall in the playoffs and try to get on a run. They were tough.”
The Lady Bruins (17-7) found out Sunday afternoon that they were the No. 11 seed out of 32 in the 2-A East bracket. Beddingfield will host Providence Grove of Climax, the No. 22 seed with a 13-13 record, on Tuesday evening at 6.
In a matter of minutes, Farmville Central put the game away in the first quarter. The home team began on a 10-0 run and reached the start of the second quarter up 16, then extended it out to 20 before halftime. In the third quarter, the deficit became more than 30 points, where it eventually stayed.
Though the direction of the game was never in doubt, the experience helped Beddingfield sort out some of its strengths and weaknesses.
A towering and imposing lineup that included several players comparable to their own 6-foot-4 senior Makayla Everette presented a measuring stick for the best the Lady Bruins will see when the playoffs begin. Every member of Farmville Central’s starting lineup produced double-digit points, including a team-high 17 from Rashya Speight, 15 from Janisja Carmon and 14 each from Jordan Joyner and Jahnyah Willoughby.
Those players identified some weaknesses upon which the Lady Bruins can work.
“We could have gotten back on defense, like going back down the court,” Beddingfield freshman guard Daneesha Briggs said. “We were kind of sluggish and we just could have played better defense, rebounding, boxing out.”
Offensively, the game taught Beddingfield how to adjust to tough defense.
At the start of the game, Farmville Central limited the offensive opportunities of Everette — holding her to just four points in the first quarter. But eventually she adjusted, finishing the game with a game-high 21 points. Briggs was the next-highest scorer for Beddingfield with eight points.
“They were able to block a lot of shots,” Everette explained of what she faced defensively. “They’re the biggest team in our conference and we’re used to playing smaller teams or the same size team.”
In the second quarter, Everette scored all nine points for Beddingfield, but it brought her team no closer to coming back. As the game progressed, she learned how to remain a big part of the offensive production, something the Lady Bruins will need in the playoffs.
“We’re feeling good,” Everette said. “The playoffs are just the better half of the season. We’ve learned from the first half and we can take it to the second half. So we’re good.”
Everette 21, Briggs 8, Anderson 7, Best 2, Sherrod 3, Pender 5.
FARMVILLE CENTRAL (77)
Willoughby 14, Speight 17, Joyner 14, Foskey 12, Carmon 15, Wooten 2, Pitt 3.
Score by quarters:
Beddingfield 7 9 16 14 — 46
FC 23 15 18 21 — 77