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Thrilling victory

Lady Aces top Lady Eagles in final seconds

Edenton 44 Northeastern 42

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Edenton's Jamillian Johnson drives the ball down court during the game against Northeastern in Edenton, Friday. Johnson finished the game with 12 points to help lead the Lady Aces to a 44-42 victory.

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By Craig Moyer
Sports Writer

Sunday, December 17, 2017

EDENTON — John A. Holmes and Northeastern battled from start to finish, as the lead went back-and-forth throughout their girls basketball contest in Edenton, Friday.

With 5.1 seconds left and the score tied at 42, Edenton’s Janyryah White drove hard to the basket, but was fouled, sending her to the free throw line for two shots and a chance to take the lead in the closing seconds.

The senior sunk both free throws to give the Lady Aces a 44-42 lead, which sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

Northeastern was unable to get a shot off in the final seconds, as Edenton came away with the thrilling home victory.

Moments after hitting the game-winning free throws, White spoke with The Daily Advance about what was going through her head as she stepped to the line.

“I had confidence in myself, my team was depending on me and I knew they had my back,” White said.

The late-game foul shots gave White a team-high 13 points for the Lady Aces, as she was a key factor in Edenton’s offensive attack throughout the night.

The senior admitted she has not been very successful at the free throw line so far this season, but overcame those struggles when it mattered most Friday night.

“I really feel like I accomplished something because in every game I always miss my free throws, but I gave it my all for my team today,” White said.

Jamillian Johnson also finished in double-digits for Edenton with 12 points in the contest, while Mikyjah White added six points for the Lady Aces.

Edenton (2-1) led 11-9 after the opening quarter, but Northeastern (1-4) fought hard in the second quarter to take a 22-20 lead into the half.

The Lady Eagles led throughout much of the third quarter, but Johnson scored the final four points of the third to give the Lady Aces and 32-20 lead heading into the final quarter.

Strong play from Northeastern’s Nakiyah Arnold allowed the Lady Eagles to tie the game at 42 late in the game before White’s game-winning free throws.

Edenton head coach Robert Woodley said his team’s goal coming in to the game was to attempt to limit the damage done by Breanna Proctor.

“The biggest thing we wanted to do was keep the ball out of Breanna Proctor’s hands because she is so unstoppable inside when she gets it,” Woodley said.

Edenton returns to action Monday when they face Pasquotank on the road at 6:30 p.m.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Northeastern 66, John A. Holmes 45: Northeastern jumped out to a 24-13 lead at the end of the opening quarter and went on to defeat John A. Holmes 66-45 on Friday night in Edenton.

Northeastern’s Damar Sutton led the high-powered offense for the Eagles in the opening quarter, as the senior scored 10 points in the first and finished the game with a team-high 22 points.

Brian Jones and Dallas Hall also finished with double-digit scoring for Northeastern, as Jones scored 10 points and Hall finished the game with 12.

A three-pointer from Edenton’s Zion Boston cut the deficit to eight points at 44-36 in the third quarter, but the Eagles responded with a 10-2 run to close the third and took a 54-38 lead into the final quarter.

Boston finished the game with 10 points for Edenton (2-1) while Mitjonta Stanley led the Aces with 14 points.

Northeastern (4-1) continued their run into the fourth quarter, scoring the first four points to stretch the lead to 20, as the Eagles went on to win by 21.

Northeastern head coach Ronald Nixon knew coming in his team had a size advantage over Edenton, but said that was not going to win the game for them.

“Size does not really matter, it’s all about executing the plan, as long as we execute the plan then we are going to be successful,” Nixon said

Edenton head coach Robert Woodley said along with having the height advantage, Northeastern is a very talented and experienced team.

The Eagles have 10 seniors on their roster, many of whom have been playing together for several seasons.

“We knew we had to play just about a perfect game to be competitive, but our kids fought really hard,” Woodley said.

The Aces head coach went on to say his team has practiced together just six times this season due to several players being a part of the east runner-up football team.

“We have some work to do, a few individuals did not play very well, but we are going to correct those things and this will just make us better,” Woodley said.

The second-year head coach said Northeastern’s experience, height and discipline were all factors in the final result.

Another factor in the Eagles’ win was their success at the free throw line, something their head coach said has been a point of emphasis in practice.

“It is very important, the last couple of games we have been shooting around 50 percent from the free throw line, but we emphasize that each and every day,” Nixon said.

Edenton will look to bounce back from the loss as they travel to Pasquotank Monday at 8 p.m.

Northeastern will look to stretch their win streak to three games as they travel to Virginia Beach to face Bishop Sullivan Catholic Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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