LUMBERTON — The No. 2 Lumberton girls basketball team didn’t waste any time with their offensive attack against No. 31 Wakefield in the opening round of the NCHSAA 4A playoff on Tuesday night.
The Lady Pirates bolted out to a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter and resisted any attempts at a Wolverine comeback on their way to a 71-41 victory.
“I thought we locked in defensively, and that’s what we have to do to be successful,” Lumberton head coach Danny Graham said.
Lumberton returns to action tomorrow in the second round against No. 14 Leesville Road, who topped No. 18 Cary 62-52 on Tuesday.
Madison Canady logged a team-high 20 points for the Lady Pirates, including eight in the first quarter. Jasmine McBride finished just short of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Jada Peebles tallied 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the Wolverines. Gabby Donaldson registered 10 points and seven rebounds.
Lumberton took advantage of a series of turnovers by Wakefield to take the lead early in the contest. London Thompson, who scored six of her 16 points in the first, helped the Lady Pirates take a 21-8 lead going into the second quarter.
The Wolverines continued to struggle against Lumberton’s stringent man-to-man defense. Peebles and Donaldson combined for four points in the second period, with the team’s other five points in the quarter coming from a 3-pointer by Camryn Jones and a jumper from Mary Butler.
McBride took advantage with seven points in that same stretch, including one of Lumberton’s three total 3-pointers, to help the Lady Pirates claim a 38-17 lead at halftime.
“We didn’t look like we were very sharp mentally,” Wakefield head coach Art Wollett said. “We had a little bit of energy but we lost them in transition so many times in the first half. We were settling for jump shots and they weren’t falling.”
The Wolverines began to make a late push with a team-high 15 points in the third quarter, led by six from Peebles. The visitors continued to struggle with containing Canady, whose 6-of-8 performance at the free throw line helped Lumberton keep them from gaining momentum.
With Lumberton holding a 58-32 lead going into the fourth quarter, Peebles orchestrated a final run by scoring seven of Wakefield’s nine points in the game’s closing minutes. It wouldn’t be enough to put pressure on the Lady Pirates, a team that finished the regular season undefeated in the Southeastern Conference.
“We got our break going early, and I think that was the key to our win,” Graham said.