River Mill gives Lady Falcons rough start
Lee Christian's girls basketball squad opened its regular season Thursday night with an assignment which should get the Lady Falcons ready for just about any other foe they face this season.
Graham's River Mill Academy, the NCHSAA 1A state runner-up and undefeated Carolina 12 Conference champion a season ago, scored the first 13 points of the game and kept rolling to a 63-23 win over the Lady Falcons.
Lee Christian was 9-13 overall a season ago in its first season as a NCISAA (North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association) member and 5-7 in its first year in the Carolina Christian Conference. This new Lady Falcon team, though, is trying to replace two athletes who are now collegiate student-athletes in Whitney O'Quinn, who's playing soccer and basketball at William Peace, and Makaila Gillum, who's playing volleyball at Central Carolina C.C.
River Mill needed its full-court press for only a few minutes, but long enough to take a double-digit lead for good, before still hassling every Lady Falcon ball-handler with quick, athletic defense. Point guard Kena Brincefield led the Lady Jaguar defense as she totaled 12 points and 10 steals.
The Lady Falcons got their first points of the season on Haley Draughn's break-away lay-up to make it 13-2. The Lady Jaguars kept going to a 21-3 lead after eight minutes.
Draughn, Sammie Jo West and Lauren Lane connected on Lady Falcon jumpers in the second quarter but open shots were tough to come by. River Mill led 35-11 at halftime.
Forward Kayla Burns scored 13 points in the opening half and wound up leading the Lady Jaguar scoring with 22 points to go with 12 rebounds.
Draughn, with eight points, and center Kevina Kemp, with four points, accounted for all the Lady Falcon points after halftime. Lenorria Holmes led the Lady Falcons with seven rebounds and Draughn had four steals.
Both Falcon varsity basketball squads will host Northwood Temple, for the first CCC games of the new season, on Nov. 22 with the girls' game set for 6 p.m.