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Asheboro advances in conference

Kaitlyn Mullins

The Southwestern Randolph Lady Cougars hosted the Asheboro Blue Comets in the first round of the Mid-Piedmont Conference Tournament on Tuesday. The Lady Cougars finished the regular season 7-5 in MPC play and 16-8 overall on the season. The Lady Blue Comets finished the regular season with a 4-8 conference record and a 9-14 overall record.

Rachel Luna put the Blue Comets on the board first with an easy layup, but the Cougars responded with a pair of free throws from Raeanne Sugg. Audrey Havens gave Asheboro a one point lead as she made this a 3-2 game. Heaven Maness scored for the Cougars, giving them their first lead of the night. Madison Priest, Ali Durrant, and Luna scored four back to back baskets for the Blue Comets to give them an 11-4 lead over the Lady Cougars. Southwestern Randolph squeezed in two more baskets to give them a total of 8 points in the first. Ending the first quarter was Ali Durrant to give the Lady Blue Comets a 13-8 lead.

In the beginning of the second quarter both teams had a slow start. Priest got open and knocked down a three for the Comets giving them an 8 point lead. Sugg, Faith Latham, and Jessie Lanier were the only three who scored from the Cougars bench during the second quarter. Sugg, Latham and, Lanier scored a total of 6 points in the second for Southwestern Randolph. Priest had the hot hand in the second quarter for the Blue Comets as she scored all nine of their points. At the half, Asheboro led 22-14.

Southwestern Randolph changed things up in the third as they were the first to score and cut into the Blue Comets’ lead. Durrant scored 6 points in a row for the Comets making this a 30-17 game. Asheboro would continue to score and built a solid lead early in the third. Sugg and Maness tacked on a few points for the Cougars to close the gap. Luna and Priest scored back to back buckets to give the Blue Comets a 36-23 lead. Alle Reid scored at the buzzer for the Cougars to cut the lead to eleven. After three quarters of play, Asheboro continued to lead 36-25.

The Cougars found a way to cut the Blue Comets’ lead down to four during the early part of the fourth quarter. Kenzie Whitson, Sarah Crews, Lanier, and Reid each scored for the Cougars to put themselves back in the game. Priest ended the Cougars’ run and knocked down a pair of free throws to extend the Blue Comets’ lead to six. Latham drove to the basket and scored for the Cougars to cut the lead to 38-33. Once again Priest scored to push the Blue Comets’ lead back out to seven. Southwestern Randolph would not go away as they cut the lead to five late in the quarter. Priest tacked on four points to the Blue Comets total as they led 45-36.ushes as they made this a 36-41 game. Crews knocked down a single free throw and that would be the last point for the Cougars. The Lady Blue Comets earned a 45-37 win over the Lady Cougars and will advance to the next round of the tournament.

Top Scorers for the Blue Comets were Madison Priest with 23 points, Ali Durrant with 13 points, and Rachel Luna with 9 points. For the Cougars, it was Raeanne Sugg with 9 points, Heaven Maness with 8 points, and Allee Reid with 5 points.

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