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Points were at a premium and every one was huge in the host Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf girls basketball team claiming an 18-16 victory against archrival North Carolina School for the Deaf in Barney Williamson Gymnasium on Thursday evening.
A free throw from senior speedster Brooklyn Conyers with 9.1 seconds remaining and her steal of the ensuing inbounds pass enabled the Lady Fighting Hornets to escape victorious against NCSD for the second time this season and up their record to 3-8.
The Lady Bears, who lost by one point at home to ENCSD, remained winless.
“We played hard and kept fighting,” assessed second-year ENCSD head coach Ciara Perry, who played for Fike from 2007-2010. “We faced adversity and I am very proud of them for sticking with it. We really wanted to beat them.”
ENCSD started as if the leniently-officiated rematch would be easy, building an 8-0 lead behind senior leading scorer Karla Infante. NCSD did not score until Rebecca Carson scored in transition with 4 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first half.
However, the Lady Hornets went scoreless the remainder of the first half as Infante encountered foul trouble. NCSD whittled the deficit to 8-6 in the third quarter. ENCSD then answered with a drive from Conyers and a 3-pointer from junior Iiesha Hinton to build the lead to 13-6.
The Lady Bears never led but managed a 13-13 tie in the final quarter as Nicole Soto fired in 10 consecutive NCSD points.
ENCSD snapped the tie on sophomore Alliyah Sharpe’s putback and, some 4 1/2 minutes later, upped the margin to 17-13 on another Conyers drive.
NCSD then surged to within 17-16 on Soto’s free throw and a bucket from Kazona Vue.
But Conyers rushed to the rescue.
“I just told the girls to keep fighting on defense, get rebounds and hold them off,” Perry said.
Carson 4 Vue 2, Hill, Masqueda, Benitez, Soto 10.
Infante 4 Kasongo 2, Conyers 7 Sharpe 2, Hinton 3, Harrell, Aracil.
Score by quarters:
NCSD 0 4 7 5 — 16
ENCSD 4 4 5 5 — 18