Harnett Central’s varsity girls basketball team dominated the first quarter to beat Harnett County and Tri-County Six 3-A Conference rival Triton 51-31 on the road Tuesday. The win was the Trojans’ third over the Hawks this season.
Despite the strong start, Harnett Central girls coach Chelsey Cabe was displeased with the Trojans’ performance in the remaining three quarters.
“We played a great first quarter and that’s it,” Cabe said. “We played a great first quarter and then they started getting aggressive and we started letting it get into our head and started doing things that we don’t normally do. We start getting satisfied. We’re satisfied with us because we played well in the first quarter. We stop playing defense, we don’t talk on defense, we get beat in transition, we stop boxing out and we start fouling because we’re not playing defense.”
For the second straight game, one quarter was the major difference in a loss for Triton (Western Harnett outscored Triton 23-5 in the second quarter in a 44-39 loss at Western on Friday night).
“First quarter again,” said Triton girls coach Wendy Simmons. “I felt like the second through fourth quarter, we hung with them. That first quarter, I don’t know. We’ve just got to put four quarters together. It takes four quarters to make a complete game, right?”
Sophomore Syniah McMiller had 17 points, six rebounds and four blocks to lead the Trojans (16-5, 8-1 TCSC).
Lyndsey Brewer, in just her second game back from a knee injury, had nine points and nine rebounds. Brittany Mills had eight points, seven rebounds and six assists. Marcayla Jones had four points, five rebounds and three steals. Keanna Womble had three points and four rebounds. Aleecya Williams had three points. Zykia Matthews, Madeline Langdon and Fayth Brown had two points apiece.
The Hawks (8-15, 3-6) were led by senior Alexis Howard, with 16 points, five rebounds and four steals.
“I hope she does that again on senior night (Friday),” Simmons said. “She goes hard the whole time she’s out there. It would be nice to have a whole team full of her.”
Anaya Lockamy had five points and six rebounds. Hannah Jackson had three points and six rebounds. Zoie Starling had three points. Anastasia McDonald had two points and six assists. Kaila Cooney had two points. Tristan Ennis had four rebounds.
Triton held an early 4-3 lead before Central ended the first quarter with 17 unanswered points to take a 20-4 lead.
The remaining three quarters were much closer, as Central outscored Triton 10-8 in the second quarter and 11-8 in the fourth and Triton outscored Central 11-10 in the third.
Both teams end the regular season with home conference games for Senior Night Friday. Triton plays Lee County and Harnett Central meets Union Pines.
“We’ve got to believe we can win Friday,” Simmons said. “We believe we can beat Lee County if we play like we’re capable of playing. We’re fighting for third. I don’t know if we can get it, but get a higher seed in the conference tournament and who knows? Maybe we’ll surprise somebody.”
If Central’s girls win Friday, the Trojans and Vikings will split the regular season championship. A win by the Vikings gives them the outright championship.
“They’ve got to play all four quarters and not get satisfied with what they’re doing,” Cabe said. “And do what they’re coached to do instead of what they feel like they need to do.”