LUMBERTON — Fairmont’s Anasia Evans, the county’s reigning scoring leader, was held to eight points as the Lumberton girls’ basketball team put the clamps down on defense and ran to a 52-35 home win Friday night at Lumberton High.
The Lady Pirates (2-1) used a feisty defensive rotation — using a mix of man and a 3-2 zone — that Fairmont struggled to penetrate all game long.
“Switching defenses is really what we tried to do all night, a little man, a little zone, our half-court trap,” Lumberton head coach Danny Graham said.
When Lumberton’s Aliyah Ratley stripped Evans on a half-court trap and found Keanna McNeill on an outlet pass for an uncontested layup, putting LHS up 15-6 in the first quarter, it was a sign of things to come.
But not before Fairmont used a 9-2 run to pull it within a bucket — 17-15 — early in the second quarter on a Marsha Clewis putback and an Evans jumper.
Made jumpers by Evans were few and far between the rest of the way and Fairmont never brought it any closer.
“We were trying to set some screens on their zone,” Fairmont head coach Chris Rodriguez said. “They were trying to shut her down, and the shots that she got, she rushed. And we missed a bunch of layups.”
Holding a 32-19 halftime lead, the Lady Pirates’ Azaya Graham and Keanna McNeill opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers and the rout was on. Graham and McNeill led Lumberton (2-1) in scoring with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
“I think we’re coming along,” Graham said. “We stilled missed a lot of easy shots but I’m real proud of our defense and our rebounding.
“The girls did a good job and the wins go to them, not me.”
Clewis finished with a team-high nine points for Fairmont (2-2).
“Like I told them, we’re going to get better,” Rodriguez said. Fairmont was toppled by Lumberton, 71-17, in last season’s meeting.
Added Graham: “They’ve improved a lot. Chris has done a great job with that group.”
Reach Sports Editor Kaleb Roedel at 910-272-6111 or email@example.com.