Coming off a pair of defeats to The Burlington School and to Williams in overtime in their host EAHS Holiday Hoopla Tournament, Eastern Alamance’s women’s basketball squad made its way to Swepsonville and Greensboro on January 2 and 3 for a pair of road games against Southern Alamance and Northern Guilford.
Fortunately for the Eagles, the young squad got back on track and won both games, improving to 7-3 overall and along the way picking up their second win in Mid-State Conference play.
EAHS got off to a fast start at Southern Alamance, using their aggressive defense and transition game to build an early 24-12 lead heading into the second quarter. The Eagles continued to apply the pressure, taking a 37-20 lead into halftime.
Though the tempo and the scoring slowed down a little in the second half, Eastern held off the Patriots over the final 16 minutes, keeping Southern at bay. The Eagles picked up the win, 54-40, with three EAHS players scoring in double figures - sophomores Hali Watkins (14 points), Laila Anderson (12 points), and Amiyah Evans (10 points). Watkins recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds along with her 14 points, while senior Makenzy Tucker added seven boards.
The following night, EAHS took on Northern Guilford for the team’s fifth game in nine days.
The Nighthawks managed to successfully slow Eastern down a little bit in the first half, keeping EAHS from breaking out to a big early lead. Northern, who entered the game with an 8-3 overall record and 2-0 mark in Mid-State Conference games, played Eastern to a 14-14 stalemate through the first two quarters.
Eastern was finally able to speed things up in the third quarter, getting their high-octane approach going and scoring 21 points, taking a 35-28 lead into the fourth quarter. EAHS’s third quarter burst proved to be the turning point, as the Eagles went on to claim an important 44-39 victory.
Anderson did most of the damage offensively for the victorious Eagles, scoring 29 of the team’s 44 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor and four 3-pointers in six attempts. Watkins added nine points and 12 rebounds, as Anderson and Watkins combined to score all but six of Eastern’s points in the game. The remaining points were scored by Evans (four points, four rebounds), and Ginia Lawson (two points, six rebounds).
The victory over Northern put EAHS in an early four-way tie in the Mid-State Conference standings. The Eagles, along with Person, Northern Guilford, and McMichael, all won two of their first three league games. EAHS’s only blemish thus far was a heartbreaking come-from-behind setback at the hands of Person just before the Christmas holiday. Western Alamance sat atop the league standings through the first three games with a perfect 3-0 mark.
EAHS looks to improve its winning streak to three games on Tuesday night, as the Eagles will host Rockingham inside Tal Jobe Gymnasium. Then the Eagles will travel to Eden on Friday night to take on Morehead. With the Cougars and Panthers combining for a winless 0-6 mark through their first three conference games, EAHS is optimistic that they can pick up a pair of additional wins this coming week, which would keep them among the league leaders.