ER advances over PG

Kaitlyn Mullins

On Wednesday night the Eastern Randolph Wildcats hosted the Providence Grove Patriots for the semifinal round of the girls’ PAC-6 conference tournament. Providence Grove defeated the High Point Andrews Red Raiders on Monday to set the match-up with the Wildcats. As the number two seed in the tournament, the Lady Wildcats received a first round bye.

The Patriots were the first on the board as Natalie Allred scored. Not long after, Samantha Burgess drained a three giving the Wildcats their first lead of the night. Allred handed the lead back to the Patriots only to have the Wildcats score and retake the lead. Aniyah King and Taelyn Johnson put Eastern Randolph up 7-4. Going back to back to take the lead for the Patriots was Madison Dark and Katilin Sexton. Providence Grove continued their momentum as they finished the first quarter ahead 18-13.

Allred extended the lead to 7 points for the Patriots to begin the second quarter. ER’s Burgess closed the gap to 4 as she knocked down another three. The Wildcats banded together and retook the lead making this a 28-24 game. King, Kayla Long, and Marion Goins each had a hand in the Wildcats run to regain the lead. The Wildcats would put a little separation between themselves and the Patriots just before the half. Providence Grove would not go quietly as Gabby Griffin scored to cut the lead to ten. At the half, Eastern Randolph led 36-26.

Providence Grove cut the lead to nine after a free throw from Emma Saunders to start the third quarter. Kaylee Carter scored back to back baskets to give the Wildcats a 40-27 lead over the Patriots. Dark and Saunders scored a couple buckets for the Patriots late to bring their total to 34 by the end of the quarter. Eastern Randolph pulled ahead by thirteen after a bucket by Burgess and led 47-34 after three quarters.

Providence Grove started strong in the fourth quarter as they scored 7 unanswered points. Scoring for the Patriots were Dark, Allred and Griffin. ER’s Long ended the run by the Patriots and extend the Wildcats lead. The Wildcats once again took a double digit lead over the Patriots after a bucket from Burgess. Dark scored back to back buckets to cut into the Wildcats’ lead once more. Eastern Randolph pulled ahead by 15 points moments late as they caught Providence Grove with their guard down. Providence Grove responded with three points the old fashion way from Dark to cut into the Wildcats’ growing lead. Time continued to tick away and so did the Patriots’ chances of getting back into the game. Eastern Randolph held off the Patriots for a 66-55 win and will advance to the championship game on Friday.

Top scorers for the Wildcats were Samantha Burgess with 26 points, Aniyah King with 13 points, and Kayla Long with 10 points. For the Patriots, it was Madison Dark with 26 points, Gabby Griffin with 11 points, and Natalie Allred with 9 points.

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