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Having a dominant post player is nothing short of a blessing in the game of basketball.
But guards still dictate tempo and pace of play, leaving the Fike High varsity girls to demonstrate superiority in that regard during Friday’s rivalry collision with Beddingfield.
Junior point guard Brikayla Whitaker finished with 18 points and drove the lane with authority in the second half, and Fike built a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Lady Bruins rallied to cut it to nine late in a 50-39 Fike win.
Fike of the 3-A Big East Conference won for the fourth time in five games, while the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Lady Bruins fell to 0-3 following defeats at the hands of Tarboro and Southern Nash.
The Lady Golden Demons held a 13-10 lead early in the second quarter before a 14-4 run gave Fike a double-digit lead it would hold the majority of the way. Jada Lamm, a freshman, hit a 3-pointer to spark the run that was aided by sophomore Kendall Harris, Whitaker, senior Jah’Asia Pernell and junior Ku’Shiyah Williams.
“She tried to change some defenses up and tried to force us to see if we could do something,” Fike head coach Jeff Nelson said of his counterpart in Debra Pegram. “Tried to take away a couple of our key players, but a couple girls tonight, they came in and hit some of those outside shots and then, they went man for the rest of the game.”
Beddingfield was led by junior Makayla Everette, who compiled a double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds. But despite the statline, Fike made it tough, attempting to double Everette on the catch and forcing her into jump shots in the first half. However, the Lady Bruins used her work on the interior to draw within single digits late. She was assessed her fourth personal foul with 2:43 left in the third quarter.
“Very proud of them in the second half,” Pegram said of the Lady Bruins. “Fike couldn’t miss in the first half. They were hitting floaters and threes and whatnot. But in the second half, I thought my girls did a much better job getting back defensively getting back in transition. We’ve just got to take the second half of this game and keep building on it.”
Everette’s second-chance basket with under 90 seconds to play cut Fike’s lead to nine, but the margin dipped no closer.
Pernell had 11 points for Fike, with Harris and senior Ashleigh Sage finishing with seven. Harris, from her guard spot, had six rebounds.
Harris 7, Ortiz, Whitaker 18, Lamm 3, Williams 2, Artis 2, Pernell 11, Sage 7.
Anderson 7, Worsham 4, Dudley, Cooper 1, Hunter, Pope 2, Sherrod 7, Best, Thomas, Everette 18.
Score by quarters:
Fike 11 16 11 12 — 50
Beddingfield 8 6 6 19 — 39