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Tigers learning in tough league



Wilson Prep’s Niiyana Edwards (13) dribbles into the paint while teammate Saniya Woodard trails the play during a home loss to Northampton County. Andrew Schnittker | Times

The highest level on the imaginary noise meter inside the Wilson Preparatory Academy gym Friday night occurred in the opening seconds when Aniyah Pridgen banked in a shot from close range to provide Wilson Prep with its only lead at 2-0 against Northampton County.

From there, 6-foot-3 junior Michaela Hodge and her teammates took over in posting a 67-25 1-A Tar-Roanoke Conference victory against the Tigers.



The first-place Jaguars romped to their eighth conference win without a loss and, overall, stand undefeated in 10 games. Wilson Prep is still in search of its first Tar-Roanoke win after six seven tries and is 0-9 in all games.

Wilson Prep’s Saniya Woodard looks for a passing option during a home loss to Northampton County. Andrew Schnittker | Times

“They’re learning,” head coach Mike Ward said of his players on a Wilson Prep squad without a senior. “They are starting to see the game better. They are playing with a little more intensity. They are seeing the game better.”

But the Tigers were without an answer for Hodge, who was stationed inside and sat out at least a couple of minutes in every quarter. Hodge wound up with 23 points and at least that many rebounds She also registered a half-dozen blocked shots.

“She was very athletic and just good,” Ward said of Hodge. “You can’t teach height and she did a good job of controlling the game in the paint.”

Wilson Prep’s Morgan Braswell drives to the basket during a home win over Northampton County. Andrew Schnittker | Times

With Hodge repeatedly tossing in follow shots, Northampton posted a 15-5 first quarter lead. The margin steadily widened, resulting in the running clock being enforced with the score 65-25 with slightly over four minutes remaining.

The Jaguars of head coach Ashley Banks, a former head girls basketball coach at Wilson Prep, outrebounded Wilson Prep, 61-28, and committed 29 turnovers as compared to 37 for the Tigers.

Hodge was joined in double-figures scoring by teammates Charlice Tyner, a junior, with 13 points and senior Miracle Wilder with 12.

Sharing scoring honors for Wilson Prep were juniors Lauryn Barbour and Ni’yana Edwards with six points each.

Ward emphasized Wilson Prep girls basketball is eying the future and warned: “You better beat us now.”

Wilson Prep’s Donya Johnson surveys the floor during a home loss to Northampton County. Andrew Schnittker | Times

NORTHAMPTON (67)

Tyner 13, Vincent 8, Grant 4, Parker 3, Harmon 4, Threat, Wilder 12, Hicks, Holmes, Hodge 23 Johnson.

WILSON PREP (25)

Braswell 2, Johnson 1, Fells, Atkinson 2, Barbour 6, Sewell, Brookins, Woodard 4, Pridgen 4, Edwards 6.

Score by quarters:

Northampton   15  22  19  11  –  67

Wilson Prep       5    7    8   5  –  25