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For the better part of three quarters, the Beddingfield High varsity girls basketball team responded with a commendable effort of defending star North Pitt High senior Nyjanique Langley.
However, Langley was all but unstoppable the final 10 minutes in rallying the Lady Panthers to a 54-42 triumph in the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference opener for both teams before a small turnout in the Beddingfield High gym.
The Lady Bruins (6-4) led until midway the third quarter. Then, Langley, the conference player of the year last season, erupted for nine straight Lady Panthers points and Beddingfield was unable to overcome the 34-30 deficit.
“For three quarters, we did OK,” veteran Beddingfield head coach Debra Pegram reviewed. “Langley is amazing and she makes people around her better.
“We were doing a good job on her and had her settling for pull-up jumpers. But we got into some foul trouble and she started finding her way to the rim. Langley is just a great basketball player.”
Langley finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. She was credited three assists, but she insisted she had possibly 10.
Complementing Langley was junior Cassandra Watson with 13 points and nine rebounds. Senior Alyssa Kerns claimed 10 rebunds.
Beddingfield stayed close until late in the third quarter because of a conscious effort to pound inside to 6-foot-2 sophomore Makayla Everette, who wound up with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Jayla Bullock added 12 points.
North Pitt head coach William Knight credited Everette’s inside presence, but noted: “I told the girls that, if we started getting up and down the court, the open shots would come. We started running in the second half and things opened up.
“I was a little nervous after the Christmas break; I didn’t know how we were going to come out. The first half proved that we were a little sluggish.”
Beddingfield trailed only 36-34 after three quarters. Langley and Watson pushed North Pitt (10-3) to a 41-34 edge. The Lady Bruins were behind 42-37 when Langley orchestrated a 7-0 North Pitt spree with her rebounding, scoring and playmaking.
The Lady Bruins erased a 12-9 deficit after one quarter to lead 21-20 at intermission on Everette’s bucket inside with just under two minutes remaining before halftime. By going inside to Everette, the Lady Bruins led for over four minutes in the third quarter. A technical foul and flagrant foul took a toll on the Lady Bruins in the final quarter.
Beddingfield’s scheduled home against archrival Fike on Wedneday night has been postponed because of the forecast for wintry weather and, weather permitting, it visits conference foe and unbeaten North Johnston on Friday evening.
“I would just like to get into a routine,” Pegram lamented.
NORTH PITT (54)
Langley 24, Kerns 4, Watson 13, Meeks, Newton, Hines 5, Williams 2, Frizzelle 6, Crawford, Willis.
J. Anderson 6, Bullock 12, T. Anderson, Pope, Everette 16, Sherrod 2, Aikderson 4, Blanchard, Bottoms 2.
Score by quarters:
North Pitt 12 8 16 18 — 54
Beddingfield 9 12 13 8 — 42