Hoke County edges Lady Jackets at the line
Hoke County made its free throws when it counted most. Lee County didn't, making only 4-of-10 at the line in the last 1:26 of the Lee County Basketball Shootout game Thursday night in Lee County's Packard Gym.
The final result was Hoke County (2-8) taking the lead for good on two Shanice Horne free throws with 0:52 remaining, then getting a cushion when Courtney Pate made four in a row, for a 54-52 win over the Lady Yellow Jackets (3-7).
Lee County had the lead most of the night, hurting Hoke County with full-court pressing and by controlling the offensive boards - even if it didn't add up to many extra baskets for the Lady Jackets.
A 7-0 Jacket run made it 17-8 midway through the second quarter. Hoke County chipped back to a 22-20 deficit at halftime and with a hoop inside by Shy Locklear followed by a Pate three-pointer, then a shorter jumper by Pate, Hoke County led 27-22.
Lee County answered with a 12-0 run. De'ja Bland sparked the turnaround with a steal and lay-up. Point guard Quitta Wilson, who led the Lady Jackets with 16 points, pulled up a hit a trey from the top of the key next time down. The Jackets kept the momentum going to a 34-27 lead.
Lee County looked sharp for parts of the night, especially when steals led to easy baskets. Three straight lay-ups, in a span of about 35 seconds, one each by Wilson, Sarah VanSteen and Bland, stretched Lee County's edge to 42-34 with 5:24 left in the game.
The Lady Bucks got back in the game quickly though. Back-to-back driving jumpers by Te'Montae Spellers made it 45-44 Lee County with 2:50 remaining.
The Lady Jackets held to the slim lead until Horne made a hoop in the paint to tie the game, 46-46, with 1:14 left.
Allie Eyers made 1-of-2 at the line a few seconds later but another Pate jumper put Hoke ahead 48-47 with 0:59 and counting. Pate finished with a game-high 17 points, getting 11 in the second half.
Trailing 50-48, the Jackets had four shots at the line with 0:20, then with 0:18 left after boarding the miss on the first tries, only to get one to fall.
On the ensuing full-court trapping, the Lady Jackets were called for an intentional foul. Pate made the two at the line, then two more after she received the inbounds pass, taking the Buck lead to 54-49 with 0:08 left.
Spellers added 13 points for Hoke County. Bland scored 13 points for the Lady Jackets. VanSteen and Danielle Kreibick scored five points each.
Both squads will play Friday night at 6 p.m. Hoke will be in a semifinal in the Main Gym at LCHS. Lee will be in a consolation game in Packard.