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FARRIS & THOMAS HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT

Hunt girls pull away from Ladybirds

Posted on January 2, 2022

SportsSchool Sports
Hunt’s Ti’Asia Taylor (1) looks for a shot between Southern Nash defenders Aubrey Pittman (3) and Anastasia Fields (12) during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Hunt’s Ti’Asia Taylor (1) looks for a shot between Southern Nash defenders Aubrey Pittman (3) and Anastasia Fields (12) during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Southern Nash’s Precious Richardson (24) looks for room to dribble as Hunt’s Kaitlynn McNair (22) and Ariyanna Carlton (30) guard her during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Southern Nash’s Precious Richardson (24) looks for room to dribble as Hunt’s Kaitlynn McNair (22) and Ariyanna Carlton (30) guard her during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Southern Nash’s Z’Nala Rooks (4) is guarded by Hunt’s Kelis Carmon (24) during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Southern Nash’s Z’Nala Rooks (4) is guarded by Hunt’s Kelis Carmon (24) during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Hunt’s Ti’Asia Taylor (1) looks for a shot between Southern Nash defenders Aubrey Pittman (3) and Anastasia Fields (12) during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Hunt’s Ti’Asia Taylor (1) looks for a shot between Southern Nash defenders Aubrey Pittman (3) and Anastasia Fields (12) during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Southern Nash’s Precious Richardson (24) looks for room to dribble as Hunt’s Kaitlynn McNair (22) and Ariyanna Carlton (30) guard her during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Sheldon Vick | Special to The Enterprise

Southern Nash’s Precious Richardson (24) looks for room to dribble as Hunt’s Kaitlynn McNair (22) and Ariyanna Carlton (30) guard her during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

Southern Nash’s Precious Richardson (24) looks for room to dribble as Hunt’s Kaitlynn McNair (22) and Ariyanna Carlton (30) guard her during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.
Southern Nash’s Z’Nala Rooks (4) is guarded by Hunt’s Kelis Carmon (24) during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.
Hunt’s Ti’Asia Taylor (1) looks for a shot between Southern Nash defenders Aubrey Pittman (3) and Anastasia Fields (12) during a Dec. 28 game in the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament at Hunt. The Warriors won 41-36.

aschnittker@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7807 | Twitter: @aschnitt53

WILSON — They don’t ask how, just how many.

In a game that was far from an offensive masterpiece, a strong defensive effort and clutch fourth quarter propelled the Hunt High girls basketball team to the championship game of the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament with a 41-36 win over Southern Nash in the Dec. 28 semifinals at Hunt.

The Warriors (4-3) overcame a sluggish first half and battled back from a brief fourth-quarter deficit to punch their ticket to the championship game. Kayla Haley led Hunt with 13 points, followed by Ti’Asia Taylor with 11 and Ariyanna Carlton with eight.

“I think we kind of lost our composure,” said Hunt head coach Lorraine Creech. “And then we get to a point where we just lay back instead of keep fighting. We fight for a while and then we give up for a while. We’ve got to learn how to play all four quarters instead of just two or three. And then when we were down, I saw that they could respond, and I liked the way they responded.”

The Ladybirds (1-6) led after the first quarter and rallied to take the lead in the fourth, but could not get over the hump. Z’Nala Rooks led Southern Nash with 14 points.

“We played well,” said Southern Nash assistant coach Ricky Battle, coaching in place of head coach Jordan Bass, who was “feeling a little bit under the weather.” “It was just some of the small things like offensive rebounds, making those easy layups and things like that that just cost us. Not just in this game, but in a lot of our games this year. It’s stuff we’ve just got to overcome for the rest of the season.”

Both teams struggled to get anything going offensively in the first eight minutes, with a 3 from Hunt’s Kelis Carmon with under two and a half minutes left in the first quarter representing the game’s first points.

The offensive woes for both teams continued in the second quarter, with Hunt taking a 12-11 lead into the break.

With Hunt up 25-20 in the fourth quarter, the Ladybirds got some stops and worked the ball inside to get their offense going, picking up six straight points to take their first lead since the second quarter with a layup from Darielle Whitley.

“If it’s a hill, we’re right there at the top of the hill, we’ve just got to go over it,” Battle said. “They play hard. … It’s just the small things that we’ve got to finish and figure out.”

Hunt answered back quickly, however, and a pair of free throws from Haley restored a 28-26 lead for the Warriors. That sparked an 8-0 run for the Warriors as Hunt picked up steals, finished in transition and knocked down free throws to push its lead to 33-26 with 2:55 left.

“I was happy,” Creech said. “I was saying, ‘Come on, let’s slow it down and look for the people that will help us score.’ I think (Taylor) came in and gave us that little lift with her speed and desire.”

The Warriors continued to pull away down the stretch, with a layup for Haley that made it a nine-point game with a minute left igniting the crowd.

“The key was for us to keep pushing,” Carlton said. “We had to keep the motivation going. In the first half, I felt like we gave up, and in the second half, I felt like we had more energy.”

The Ladybirds managed to cut Hunt’s lead to four with five straight points in the game’s final minute, but Hunt held on for the win in the only scheduled matchup of former 3-A Big East Conference rivals.

Southern Nash, a 3-A member of the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference, went on to face Beddingfield in the girls’ third-place game the following day.

The Lady Warriors went on to win the Farris & Thomas Holiday Tournament with a 64-62 victory in the girls’ championship.

SOUTHERN NASH (36)

Rooks 14, Whitley 9, Romero 4, Richardson 3, Pittman 2, Younes 2, Fields 2

HUNT (41)

Haley 13, Taylor 11, Carlton 8, Carmon 3, Mercer 2, Wolzen 2, McNair 2

Score by quarters:

SN 6 5 7 18 36

Hunt 4 8 10 17 41

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