By Benjamin Cohn
Leicester – Erwin High’s girls basketball team convincingly defeated visiting Southwest Guilford Cowboys on Tuesday, February 26, the final score 57-32 in favor of the hosting Warriors. Unfortunately, the girls would lose their Thursday night game (February 28th) against the Statesville Greyhounds in a close one, 61-58.
Tuesday night’s varsity basketball game was one of the eight played in the first round of this year’s Women’s Basketball Championships, 3A division, and Erwin players came out of the gate looking athletic and focused.
Erwin girls put up 15 points in the first period of Tuesday’s game while letting in only seven points for the visiting Cowboys. The second period was a much closer, hard-fought bout with the Warriors and the Cowboys putting up eight and seven points respectively. Erwin girls exhibited their confidence by taking several difficult three-pointers and sinking a few.
After halftime, the hosting Warriors played ruthlessly and scored 12 points, several of which resulted from successful three-point shots. South Guilford athletes played sluggishly, only scoring seven points of their own.
Tuesday night’s final period was the highest-scoring of the entire game, with Erwin girls scoring 22 points and letting in only half that number. The final score again read 57-32 Erwin.
Their win Tuesday night improved the girls Warriors’ record to 28 and one, a win rate of nearly 97 percent, and cemented their number five spot in the current rankings of North Carolina 3A basketball teams.
After the match, Erwin Girls Varsity Coach Matt Carpenter spoke briefly to the Tribune about his team’s success.
“This time of year, you never really feel good going into it. You got about 24 hours after you figure out who you’re going to play to figure out what your game plan’s going to be. I thought defensively we were really good the whole game. That’s what carried us, that’s really what’s carried us all year long. Offensively, in the first half, we weren’t very good. Keyasia Meade (#10) was the hero tonight. She kind of broke out of her shell. She hasn’t really been an offensive threat for us this year, but she was tonight. She was huge.
“We like to keep the ball inside. We knew that they [Cowboys] were going to try to force us to shoot outside shots, so we didn’t want to just settle for that. We wanted to try to get it inside, and if it came back out, that’s a shot we could take.
“We always want to try to attack the rim and get it inside,” Carpenter said.
Two nights later, on Thursday, Erwin girls would suffer their first loss in more than ten weeks when they came up three points shy at Statesville High in Concord. The final score for that game was a heartbreakingly close 58-61 in favor of the hosting Greyhounds.
The Lady Warriors had a good lead over the Greyhounds at the end of the first period with a 23-13 lead, but they were shut down during the second period, only scoring five additional points while Statesville scored 17, leaving the Greyhounds with a two-point lead at the half, 30-28. During the third period the girls would hang tough only being edged out in scoring production by two points, making it a four-point lead for the Greyhounds, 46-42. While they outscored Statesville during the last period of the game by one point it was not enough to overcome their deficit.