Pine handles NCS in girls’ district opener

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pine seventh-grader Breyanna Brown turned in a sterling performance Friday on the road, registering a double-double with a game-high 24 points and 14 rebounds to help propel the Lady Raiders to a 50-39 district opening victory over the Northlake Christian School Lady Wolverines.

Pine (10-5) jumped out to a 17-5 first-quarter lead with Brown scoring eight points followed by Shay Seals with four of her 10 points to spark the Lady Raiders’ early spurt.

Seals had a good floor game with a team-high five assists along with six rebounds and four steals.

Freshman Nyxavion Robertson chipped in with five points and eight rebounds, while Katelyn Jenkins added four points with six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Paris Kennedy added a basket with three rebounds and three steals for the Lady Raiders.

Brown (5-foot-8), who collected five steals with two assists, talked about the win and her performance.

“I think I had a pretty good game. Morgan Thomas and my teammates made good passes. If I am open inside I shoot the ball. I think we played really good as a team,” Brown said.

Brown said she is enjoying her time with her teammates and liked getting the opening district win.

“We did well offensively and defensively. Winning our first district game was fun,” she said.

NCS (4-7) at press time, fought back, outscoring Pine 12-7 in the second quarter on the strength of Rometta Lombard, who scored eight of her team-high 15 points. Lombard, who is returning from an injury, is having her minutes limited. Lombard’s quickness and ability to push the ball made a big difference for the Lady Wolverines.

Taylor Traugott, who finished with 10 points before fouling out, added a basket along with Hannah Seale and Sarah Agresta coming through with buckets in the second period to cut the Pine lead to 24-17 at the half.

Opening the third quarter, NCS’ Traugott hit a basket and converted a free throw after being fouled with 6:03 left in the period to make it 24-20.

Pine’s Brown answered with two consecutive baskets to give the Lady Raiders a 28-20 advantage with 5:10 left in the third.

At that point NCS put together a 9-0 run, outscoring Pine 14-6 to take a 31-30 lead. Traugott scored five points during the run, including a key 3-pointer assisted by Kalli Leahy to cut the lead to 28-27 with 2:46 to play in the quarter. Katina LaGamba hit on a crucial lay up on an assist from Lombard to give NCS a 29-28 lead with 2:14 remaining in the third.

Brown stopped NCS’ run, hitting a basket late in the quarter to regain the lead for the Lady Raiders, but Lombard responded scoring the final points of the third quarter to give the Lady Wolverines the one-point advantage entering the final quarter.

Pine made the difference at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, connecting on 10-of-12 free throw attempts to secure the victory. Brown made 4-of-6 freebies, while Katelyn Jenkins, Kennedy and Seals all made both of their charity tosses. The Lady Raiders outscored NCS 20-8 in the final stanza to secure the district victory.

“We haven’t done that all season long. We started driving more and were getting fouled. We made those foul shots,” Pine coach Tate Kennedy said.

“We jumped out to a lead and then they put their point guard (Lombard) in, and she is a pretty good ball player and likes to push the ball up court,” Kennedy said.

“We are not an outside shooting team, but they were giving us the outside shot. We were taking them, but when we missed we weren’t rebounding and they got back in the ballgame,” Kennedy added.

Kennedy said his team played really good defense the last three or four minutes of the game, which helped keep NCS off the board down the stretch.